Mind, Technology, and Society Talk Series

Berit Brogaard
Professor, University of Miami
Director of Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research

Time/Date: 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, January 26th, 2015

Location: Chancellor’s Conference Room, KL 232

Title: Who’s Afraid of Qualia?


I provide an empirical argument against representationalism and show that the only reasonable alternative is a version of the qualia view. I then reply to two common objections to the qualia view. The first is that irreducible qualia are scientifically suspect, as they are private and hence cannot generate scientific data. The second is that the view is not naturalistically respectable because it entails a form of dualism. After refuting both claims I argue that Block’s mental paint view — a version of the qualia view — doesn’t go far enough. The only plausible view of perception, I argue, is a contentless representational view, according to which perceptual experience represents despite having no non-trivial content.

Bio (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berit_Brogaard):

Berit Oskar Brogaard (1970) is a Danish and American philosopher specializing in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. Her recent work concerns synesthesia, savant syndrome, blindsight and perceptual reports. She is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and runs a perception lab at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She is the President of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology and the first female President of the Central States Philosophical Association. Brogaard is also a Danish-language poet…Her academic and popular work has been featured in, among other places, A Report of the President’s council on bioethics, Danish National Radio, the Modesto Bee…Nightline, NPR, Popular Science, Science Omega, the Huffington Post, and ABC News.