In Michael Tye's book, Consciousness, Color and Content, he illustrates his theory of perception with an example of a tomato:
"Consider, for example, the facing surface of a ripe tomato in a bowl before you. In attending to the color of the tomato, you are directly aware of a certain quality, Q, as covering that surface." [pg. 48]
Given that he speaks of Q as covering the surface of the tomato, it seems clear that Q must belong to the tomato as opposed to visual experience. He then goes on to assert that changing Q will result in changes in "what it is like for you." That's not surprising, but then he goes on to assert that the same thing holds in the case of hallucinations:
"If the tomato does not exist, still you are directly aware of Q; and if some other quality replaces Q, the phenomenal character of your experience changes." [pg. 48]
If the tomato does not exist, Q does not exist. In what sense can it be said that we can be directly aware of Q, a non-existent quality?
In another paragraph he was speaking of hallucinations and said the following:
"The objects and their surfaces could be unreal. Still, the phenomenal character of your visual experience is not a quality or cluster of qualities of your experience to which you have direct access." [pg. 47]
This seems counterintuitive. On the one hand, we have direct access to non-existent qualities, but we do not have direct access to phenomenal qualities.
How should this be interpreted?