The Real Trouble with Phenomenal Externalism: New Empirical Evidence for a Brain-Based Theory of Consciousness

  • Adam PautzEmail author
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 6)


The traditional view of the sensible qualities locates them in the head. But within philosophy there has recently been a kind of externalist revolution. While most scientists would still locate the sensible qualities in the head, many philosophers now claim that sensible qualities are really “out there” in the mind-independent physical world and that the function of the brain is just to reveal them to us. In favorable conditions sensory character is determined simply by what mind-independent states you are directly conscious of. The result is a kind of phenomenal externalism. Examples include externalist intentionalism, naïve realism, and active externalism. The stakes are high, because many think that phenomenal externalism represents our best shot at naturalizing consciousness and its intentionality.


Firing Rate Phenomenal Character Structure Argument Sensory Representation Sensory Intensity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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