Department of Philosophy



Dr. John O’Dea

Australian National University

"The Senses and the Structure of Experience"


                      Date    :   20 September 2005 (Tuesday)

                      Time   :   4:30 - 6:30pm

                      Venue    : GE321





Abstract: Representationalist theories of experience are often thought vulnerable to the existence of apparently non-representational differences between 
experiences in different sensory modalities.  This goes back at least to Grice's argument, in "Some Remarks on the Senses," that the senses are distinguished by
 "introspectible character." Employing J.J. Gibson's useful distinction between exploratory and performatory behaviour, I argue that the senses can be distinguished 
consistently with representationalism by recognising a proprioceptive element to perceptual experience.  When we perceive we are aware of using a sense organ, 
and differences in this respect account adequately for the felt difference between the sense modalities.


Dr. John O’Dea

Dr O'Dea received his PhD in philosophy from Monash University (Australia) in 2002 and has published journal articles on problems of consciousness. He is 
currently Postdoctoral Fellow with the Philosophy Program at the Australian National University (RSSS) and is working on a project on representation and 
phenomenal awareness with Frank Jackson and Daniel Stoljar.



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