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Structural Models of Phenomenality
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) ;
According to the classical understanding, phenomenal properties are intrinsic and qualitative, while science captures relational or structural properties only. In the scientific study of consciousness, however, methods are used that aim to model and discriminate individual experiences, including their phenomenal character, by structural features (typical examples comprise quality spaces and the methods and measures of psychophysics). The project shall investigate the methodological and ontological implications of structural models of phenomenality from the perspective of philosophy of science. It will explore how objective third-person models of subjective first-person experience and consciousness should be set up and what their promises and possible limitations are.

Questions of interest include:
(1) What is the connection between the intrinsic/structural distinction and the introspective/extrospective distinction?
(2) What general modeling types, techniques, formalisms, tools and (representational) formats are used in consciousness studies? (This includes a close look to some of the empirical projects of the RTG.)
(3) What are the limits of structural modeling approaches and how does this relate to "qualia inversion” scenarios?
(4) What are the metaphysical implications of structural models of phenomenality (e.g. in view of a structural realism about qualia or Russellian monism)?

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