Murat Aydede


University of British Columbia
Department of Philosophy
1866 Main Mall E370 (map)
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1

Office: Buchanan E364

(604) 822-2443 (office)
(604) 822-3292 (dept office)
(604) 822-8782 (dept fax)

                     Murat Aydede
I work primarily in philosophy of psychology/cognitive science, and more generally, philosophy of mind. In recent years, I have increasingly focused on perceptual and affective consciousness. My current research involves developing a theory of sensory affect that would also illuminate perceptual consciousness. I have also been working on a book project developing an information-theoretic (but internalist) account of perceptual consciousness and its introspection with phenomenal concepts with an aim to show how to properly respond to various recent anti-physicalist arguments.

Short Bio: I received my B.A in philosophy in 1986 from Bogazici University (formerly, Robert College) in Istanbul, and my doctoral degree from University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) in 1993.  After spending one and a half years at CSLI, Stanford, as a visiting scholar, I moved to the University of Chicago in October 1994 as an assistant professor. Between 2001 and 2007, I was an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Florida.  Since July 2007, I have been a professor in the Philosophy Department at UBC.

Here is an annotated bibliography listing (mostly) philosophical works on pain.

Some recent works:

Working drafts: (Send me an email for a copy of the final versions.)

  • "Is the Pain Experience Transparent? Introspecting Phenomenal Qualities" (Comments would be much appreciated!)
    Abstract. I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the Transparency Datum (TD). Pain experiences are consistent with TD. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis (ST) that is entailed by (strong) representationalism about phenomenology. I argue that pain experiences (as well as some other similar experiences) are not transparent in this strong sense. Hence I argue that representationalism is false. Then, I outline a framework about how the introspection of phenomenal qualities works in light of TD, but consistent with the rejection of ST. The result is a form of qualia realism that is naturalist and intentionalist (weak representationalist), and has close affinities to the adverbialist views developed in the latter part of the last century.

  • "Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect" (with Matt Fulkerson). Penultimate draft. This is slated to appear in The Nature of Pain edited by David Bain, Michael Brady and Jennifer Corns. (It was originally written for a symposium on sensory affect at the 2014 Pacific APA meeting in San Diego.)
    Abstract. Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically compare and contrast them. In particular, we want to examine how they handle the reason-giving power of affective states. We will look into two representationalist proposals (Evaluativism and Imperativism) and a functionalist proposal, and argue that, contrary to their own advertisements, the representationalist proposals don’t have good accounts of why and how sensory affect can motivate, rationalize, and justify subsequent behavior and intentional mental activity. We will show that our own functionalist proposal does a much better job in this regard, and that when the representationalist proposals are modified to do a better job, they fare better not because of their representationalist credentials but due to their functionalist ones.

  • "A Contemporary Account of Sensory Pleasure" to appear in Pleasure: A History, edited by Lisa Shapiro (Oxford University Press). [This is the penultimate version.]
    Abstract. Some sensations are pleasant, some unpleasant, and some are neither. Furthermore, those that are pleasant or unpleasant are so to different degrees. In this essay, I want to explore what kind of a difference is the difference between these three kinds of sensations. I will develop a comprehensive three-level account of sensory pleasure that is simultaneously adverbialist, functionalist and is also a version of an experiential-desire account.
  • "How to Combine Qualia Realism with Intentionalism about Perception"
  • "Secondary Qualities and the Grain Problem"
  • "Are Phenomenal Zombies Really Conceivable?" incomplete rough working draft (comments are welcome).

[Click here for (almost) a complete list of my works with abstracts]


The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition
(co-editor with Philip Robbins)

Cambridge University Press, 2009.  

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Pain: New Essays on Its Nature and the Methodology of Its Study (editor)

MIT Press, 2006.

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