PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this paper, I will attempt to account for the contents of visual phenomenology. I will suggest that the most useful and sufficient way to account for the information experienced during visual consciousness is to appeal to fundamental, sensory points of data that are organized spatiotemporally. That is, we should understand henomenal experience as composed solely of tiny flecks of sensory information spread over the entire three-dimensional space of which we are aware. This species of information is both intuitively fundamental to our experience and appears to be actually fundamental neurally, so, it is an excellent candidate for a sufficient account of the contents of visual phenomenology. For the present purpose, I will stray little from dealing solely with visual consciousness. However, it is my aim that the account should extend smoothly to each other sensory domain of phenomenology. I will argue that this kind of extension is enough to fully describe the contents of all experience. Visual consciousness is in no way separate from other aspects of conscious experience, except in that it has been most extensively studied scientifically. For that reason, I will focus on how my account functions with respect to visual phenomenology. In sections II and III, I will begin by looking at what a theory of content is and then why we need a theory of content for visual phenomenology. In section IV I will examine the relationship between content and representation and also attempt to provide a set of criteria for selecting a theory of content. In section V I will examine the relationship of the audience to the theory. Section VI will provide an overview of the theory of content that I think follows most naturally from the preceding considerations and standards. I will close with a survey of several objections in section VII.
Degree ProgramHonors College