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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 166, Supplement 1, pp 131–151 | Cite as

What do our experiences of heat and cold represent?

  • Richard Gray
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Heat perception Representational content of experience Phenomenal character Touch 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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