The Problem of Representation

University of Lucerne, autumn term 2018
BA/MA Seminar, Monday 12-14

What is the mind? What does it contain, what does it produce and what does it take in? What are ideas - mental particulars, patterns of processes, bits of information, properties of subjects, blurry images? What are perceptions, emotions, beliefs, feelings, moods, memories and headaches? How do they acquire content and what do they do with it? Indeed, what does it mean that they have content at all?

The seminar is related to, but independent of, the lecture on the The Metaphysics of the Mind I am giving during autumn term 2018 on Mondays, 8-10.

While the lecture treats issues roughly chronologically, the seminar proceeds systematically.

Some administrative information is here.

The course also has a website on OLAT.

Here is a preliminary version of the compiled version of the course material.

Thanks a lot for the course, which I found interesting. Your evaluation is here.







Introduction, the Argument from Illusion

Crane, 2005. The Problem of Perception", ch. 3. (or here)
Fish, 2010. Philosophy of Perception, ch. 1-3
Johnston, 2004. The Obscure Object of Hallucination


Adverbialism about Perception

Fish, 2010. Philosophy of Perception, ch. 4 and 5



Martin, 2004. The Limits of Self-Awareness
Grice, 1961. The Causal Theory of Perception
Byrne and Logue, 2008. Either/Or


Looks and Feelings of Values

Martin, 2010. What's in a Look?
Deonna and Teroni, 2012 The Emotions. A Philosophical Introduction


Logical Complexity and the Negation Problem

Gendler, 2000. The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance


Primary and Secondary Qualities

Thomson, J.J., 1974. Molyneux's Problem
Molyneux's Problem (Stanford Encyclopedia)
Evans, G., 1985. Molyneux's Question. In: Evans: Collected Papers, A. Phillips (ed.), Oxford: Clarendon Press


Relativism and Normativity

Buekens, Faultless Disagreement, Assertions and the Affective-Expressive Dimension of Judgments of Taste


Moore against Skepticism

Wright, Scepticism and Dreaming: Imploding the Demon
Wright, (Anti-)Sceptics Simple and Subtle: Moore and McDowell


Truth and the Objects of Belief

Künne, Conceptions of Truth


The Magic of Reference: Names as Traces

Kripke, Naming and Necessity


The Insides of Names: n-Dimensionalism

Chalmers, The Components of Content, in Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings


Expressivism about Belief

Schroeder, 2008. Being For: Evaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism


The Temporality of Representation

Fine, 2005. Tense and Reality, in: Modality and Tense. Philosophical Papers


The Question of Solipsism, and Qua-Objects

Fine, 1982. Acts, Events and Things
Fine, 1999. Things and Their Parts