A vehicular theory of corporeal qualia (a gift to computationalists)

Jonathan Waskan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I have argued elsewhere that non-sentential representations that are the close kin of scale models can be, and often are, realized by computational processes. I will attempt here to weaken any resistance to this claim that happens to issue from those who favor an across-the-board computational theory of cognitive activity. I will argue that embracing the idea that certain computers harbor nonsentential models gives proponents of the computational theory of cognition the means to resolve the conspicuous disconnect between the sentential character of the data structures they posit and the nonsentential qualitative character of our perceptual experiences of corporeal (i.e., spatial, kinematic, and dynamic) properties. Along the way, I will question the viability of some externalist remedies for this disconnect, and I will explain why the computational theory put forward here falls quite clearly beyond the useful bounds of the Chinese-Room argument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-125
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Chinese Room
  • Computational theory of mind
  • Externalism
  • Formats
  • Models
  • Perception
  • Qualia
  • Representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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