Phenomenal Socialism

Chappell, Sophie Grace (2024). Phenomenal Socialism. Philosophies, 9(3), article no. 63.



Phenomenal socialism says that what we actually, directly, literally perceive is only or primarily instances of high-level phenomenal properties; this paper argues for phenomenal socialism in the weaker, primarily version. Phenomenal socialism is the philosophy of perception that goes with recognitionalism, which is the metaethics that goes with epiphanies. The first part states the recognitionalist manifesto. The second part situates this manifesto relative to some more global concerns, about naturalism, perception, the metaphysics of value, and theory vs. anti-theory in ethics. The third part rehearses two familiar views about the possible contents of perceptual experience, Phenomenal Conservativism and Phenomenal Liberalism. It notes that the usual catalogue omits two other theoretical possibilities, Phenomenal Socialism and Phenomenal Nihilism, and it defends a watered-down form of Phenomenal Socialism from four main objections. The fourth part makes some connections with the epistemology of modality and with the role of the imagination.

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