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Ontological Minimalism about Phenomenology

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I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense‐data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind‐independent objects or property‐instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. Since a hallucinating subject is not related to any such objects or property‐instances, the concepts she employs remain empty. I argue that the phenomenology of hallucinations and perceptions can be identified with employing concepts and analogous nonconceptual structures. By doing so, I defend an ontologically minimalist view of the phenomenology of experience that (1) vindicates Aristotelianism about types and (2) amounts to a naturalized view of the phenomenology of experience.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Australian National University

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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