Consciously Experiencing a Feel

J. Kevin O’Regan

in Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199775224
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919031 | DOI:
Consciously Experiencing a Feel

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There still is one thing missing in this account of what it is like to feel. If we accept that experiencing a feel just consists in interacting with the world (albeit in a special way involving richness, bodiliness, insubordinateness, and grabbiness), then why do we as persons have the impression of consciously feeling? After all, a thermostat interacts with the world, and a river interacts with its environment. Many complex systems can be said to obey sensorimotor laws. We could certainly arrange things so that such laws possess the hallmarks of sensory feel by ensuring that they are characterized by richness, bodiliness, insubordinateness, and grabbiness. But surely such systems do not consciously feel. We need a way to account for the fact that only certain organisms that interact with the world, in particular humans, experience these interactions consciously.

Keywords: feel; experience; consciously feeling; sensorimotor laws

Chapter.  3374 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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