What do our experiences of heat and cold represent?
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Our experiences of heat and cold are usually thought to represent states of things: their hotness and coldness. I propose a novel account according to which their contents are not states of things but processes, more specifically, the opposite processes of thermal energy being transmitted to and from the body, respectively. I call this account the Heat Exchange Model of heat perception. Having set out the evidence in support of the proposal, I conclude by showing how it provides a new perspective on some old problems.
KeywordsHeat perception Representational content of experience Phenomenal character Touch
Versions of this paper were presented to audiences in Heraklion, Trnava, Cardiff and Bristol; my thanks to them for their comments. I am grateful to Nicholas Shackel and Matthew Ratcliffe for providing written comments on earlier drafts. Finally, my thanks go to Brian Keeley, with whom I discussed many of the ideas of the paper at an early stage, and to an anonymous referee for a series of very helpful comments at a later stage.
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