Abstract Details

Dis-illusioning Experience  William S. Robinson (Iowa State University, Ames, IA )   C1

In his defense of Illusionism, D. Pereboom quotes S. Shoemaker as finding it mysterious how we can represent properties that are nowhere instantiated in our world. This presentation begins by detailing the problem, clarifying its relation to Illusionism, and explaining the inadequacy of Pereboom's response. It then examines papers by K. Frankish and F. Kammerer, and finds that they face, and fail to solve, the same problem. These results make it plausible that representation of uninstantiated properties is an endemic problem for illusionism. Responding by making such representation a sui generis relation amounts to abandoning the physicalism that is typically cited as a reason for accepting illusionism about experiences. Appeal to quality spaces may seem to provide a way to solve the problem of uninstantiated property representation, but this appeal turns out to be a subtle version of the sui generis response. There is thus strong reason to think that Illusionism harbors a problem to which it can give no physicalistically acceptable solution.