[MaFLa] invitation to a talk by Miljana Milojević on `What are colours if not surface spectral reflectances?` - 17 April, 4.00 PM

Krisztina Biber biberk at ceu.hu
Thu Apr 5 11:09:50 CEST 2012

The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
Miljana Milojević (University of Belgrade)
`What are colours if not surface spectral reflectances?`
Tuesday, 17 April 2012, 4.00 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 412
Naturalistic theories of content determination have to answer the
question what constitutes representational content of mental states
about secondary and tertiary qualities, such as being red or being
pleasent. There are three typical views about the nature of non-primary
qualities: they are objective physical properties, subjective mental
properties, or dispositions of physical objects to produce appropriate
mental states. Although there are three possible anwers, objectivism
about secondary qualities was seen as only viable option for a
naturalistically inclined philosopher. In spite of this commonly held
opinion, it is possible to give a dispositionalist account about
non-primary qualities which is compatible with naturalistic theories of
content. This kind of dispositionalism has the advantage over
objectivism as it resolves some of the difficulties objectivists face;
it rejects dubious disjunctive properties as objects of representations,
objectivists were forced to endorse, and replaces them with particular
dispositions, and it gives a unified account about the nature of
secondary and tertiary qualities, which were handled separately by
objectivists about secondary qualities. Unfortunately, endorsement of
dispositionalism opens yet new problems such as: the impossibility of
misrepresentation, and the inclusion of normativity in otherwise
naturalized theory of representational content. These seemingly
difficult obstacles can nevertheless be surpassed by teleological
amandment to dispositionalist account, or so I will argue, which
simultaneously solves both problems – it naturalises assumed notion of
normativity and defines response-dependent dispositions in such a way
that binds them more tightly to the world and so surmounts the problem
of misrepresentation.
Kriszta Biber
Department Coordinator
Philosophy Department
Tel: 36-1-327-3806
Fax: 36-1-327-3072
E-mail: biberk at ceu.hu
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