Date of publication: 2017-09-02 15:16
69. I must assume you're using some form of word processing on a computer to write your dissertation. (if you aren't, you've missed a major part of your doctoral preparation!) If your study has specific names of people, institutions and places that must be changed to provide anonymity don't do it too soon. Go ahead and write your dissertation using the real names. Then at the end of the writing stage you can easily have the computer make all of the appropriate name substitutions. If you make these substitutions too early it can really confuse your writing.
One route that the intentionalist could take is to identify the phenomenological aspects of our experience with the representational. Naturalistically minded philosophers attempt to provide a causal account that explains how our mental states, experiences and perceptions have the intentional content that they do. One could, then, claim that the causal processes that ground intentional content also have a phenomenological aspect. It is the very same state that has both representational content and phenomenological features.
a. If you are given the opportunity to select your dissertation committee do it wisely. Don't only focus on content experts. Make sure you have selected faculty for your committee who are supportive of you and are willing to assist you in successfully completing your research. You want a committee that you can ask for help and know that they will provide it for you. Don't forget, you can always access content experts who are not on your committee at any time during your research project.
However, in any particular case the disjunctivist must accept that he cannot tell which disjunct holds. When prey to illusion or hallucination, it can seem to you as if you are really perceiving the actual state of the world, and thus, it seems to you that you are in the same perceptual state that you would be in if the world was really how you perceive it to be. A consequence of disjunctivism, then, is that one can be not only deluded about the state of the world, but also about the state of one’s own mind. When one is unknowingly prey to illusion or hallucination, one is in fact in an entirely distinct perceptual state from the state that one takes oneself to be in. This is an anti-Cartesian position since:
[The mind is] a realm of reality in which samenesses and differences are exhaustively determined by how things seem to the subject, and hence which are knowable through and through by exercising one’s capacity to know how things seem to one. [Ibid. ]
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b. Your major professor/adviser/chairperson is your ally. When you go to the committee for reactions to your proposal make sure your major professor is fully supportive of you. Spend time with him/her before the meeting so that your plans are clear and you know you have full support. The proposal meeting should be seen as an opportunity for you and your major professor to seek the advice of the committee. Don't ever go into the proposal meeting with the feeling that it is you against them!
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Proponents of disjunctivism see their position as upholding certain common sense assumptions about the nature of perception. It is claimed that both sense datum theorists and intentionalists do not account for the idea that it is the qualities of the tin in front of me of which I am directly conscious. This is because for the former it is the qualities of a mental sense datum that are the focus of my consciousness and for both, the content of one’s experience could be just the same even if there was not a tin there and one was hallucinating. Such accounts, then, do not capture the intuition that the nature of my current experience is constituted by my consciousness of the properties of the tin at which I am looking.