Questions tagged [qualia]

Qualia refers to the phenomenal character of subjective experience.

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If the “Problem of Qualia” is valid, then how can we communicate?

I was reading about qualia and how there's apparently the problem of qualia because a unique experience is constrained to one subject (?). But I don't see how this is meaningful in any way since ...
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How have deaf (or blind) people who hear (or see) for the first time changed philosophers' understanding of qualia?

Here's how the physicist David Deutsch (2011) describes qualia: Consider the following thought experiment. You are a biochemist with the misfortune to have been born with a genetic defect that ...
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What do philosophers mean when they say qualia do not exist?

In university, my professor said that his position is that there are no qualia. He acknowledged that non-philosophers can find this position bizarre, but did not explain the rationale behind why he ...
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Is dying in a simulation ever sufficient for death, and if not does that make death inconceivable?

Is dying in a simulation -- any simulation at all -- ever physically sufficient to die at that instant outside it? I mean a simulation like in the film the Matrix, or in a dream, one that kills your ...
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A possibly valid argument against eliminativism

I'm posting this despite the fact that I've little or no knowledge in metaphysics. The eliminativists claim that phenomenal consciousness is not "real". Would it help if we notice that phenomenal ...
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The role of qualia in explaining Skinner box experiments

I wonder if this point of view has been considered before and which role it does play in the discussion of consciousness: Consider a typical Skinner box experiment: A rat is exposed to some pleasant ...
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Are these arguments — in philosophy of mind?

Do any of these arguments [epiphanies] exist in the philosophy of mind? Consciousness is a complex structure, and it is unlikely to be realizable in just any structure, else anything big enough would ...
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Do any arguments — at all— about qualia work analogously to arguments about causation?

Are there any arguments about qualia that are analogous to those about cause? I'm asking partly because cause and qualia seem they should be hot topics of any philosophy, and partly due to a confused ...
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Is the fact that there are qualia something internal or external?

I'm struggling to digest the SEP article on qualia. Is anyone saying that there being qualia is something about the world which exists independent of conscious awareness (knowledge and perception)? ...
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Where is one's “power”?

Where is one's "power", in the Nitezschean sense? Is it in the body? Is it a phenomena of conscious: does it depend upon consciousness? Is it a quale? It is essentially ones own?
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Why does a philosophical zombie need to have qualia to see colours?

Can a philosophical zombie, who has no qualia, see colours? At least he has eyes to perceive colours, then why does he need to have qualia to see colours?
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Are phenomenological essences experiences that occur in every possible world?

Are phenomenological essences the case in every world? I believe they are a priori, but are they necessary and immutable? A stock example of an essence is the extension of white. We seem to ...
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Do qualia have Being?

Do qualia have Being? I'm unsure what 'Being' means, but take it that it has something to do with red always being red, self sameness or identity. If qualia do have Being, is that itself like ...
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Is consciousness considered a resolved/able problem?

Is the existence of qualia generally considered an unresolved problem by philosophers? Is there a consensus on its nature or whether it can be studied at all?
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Can mind-body dualism be modelled by computer programs and their corresponding logic gates at the physical level?

If we a consider complex computer program (such as an operating system) running on an unknown architecture, then somebody observing the computer program at the logic gate level may be able to gain a ...
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Can an animal have qualia without self awareness?

Can an animal have qualia without self awareness? I understand that many animals are said to have qualia but not self awareness (perhaps not the great apes). In particular, I'm having a hard time ...
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Scholarly retorts to “Quining Qualia”?

I've been reading and rereading Daniel Dennett's dismissal of qualia, and I have been wanting to see what some of the experts in the field think of his portrayal. For example, has Nagel, Hoffman, or ...
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What are qualia, the feeling on the skin of heat from a fire, or the fire itself?

What are qualia, the feeling on the skin of heat from a fire, or the fire itself? Or something else? I'm asking because I'm trying to work out if it makes sense to say that causing a phenomena is ...
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Are thoughts qualia?

There seems to be a very clean distinction between two types of experience: external stimuli, and internal experience. The external stimuli, in one model, are qualia. Qualia are objects that may be ...
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How do epiphenomenalists make sense of discussions about qualia?

Epiphenomenalists believe that mental events have no causal effect on the physical. They may differ in what they consider "mental events" but it seems all of them would consider qualia / phenomenal ...
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Have our needs changed? [closed]

With our evolving civilization, it is fairly easy to show that we act in the world in more complex ways on a daily basis; the world is more complex. Have our real needs changed? Have our felt needs ...
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Is the phenomenom of “subjective consciousness” or “qualia” formally captured by any state-of-the-art Theoretical Model in Physics?

Is the phenomenon of "subjective consciousness" or "qualia" formally captured or defined by any state-of-the-art Theoretical Model in Physics? If so, can you share a brief summary of such ...
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Does Nagel's take on what it's like to be a bat dissolve the question of what causes consciousness?

Does Nagel's take on what it's like to be a bat dissolve the question of what causes consciousness? As far as I know, he claims that we can't know what it's like to be a bat. Does that mean that the ...
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Is it possible to imagine a color one has never seen before?

We can easily imagine any color we have seen at some point in life (e.g., white, black, rainbow colors). But what would it take one to understand and "see" a new color? P.S.: There are more colors ...
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What is the relationship between cognition and qualia?

First, I must admit I'm having trouble formulating this question because I'm somewhat confused about the relationship between these two items (cognition and qualia). Please let me know if I can ...
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If consciousness was an illusion, would it be less real?

Even though qualia are generally considered to be unexplainable, there are philosophers like Daniel Dennett attempting to get to the core of consciousness with scientific methods. In his view, ...
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Is the “speed of time” perception a quale we can share?

The perception of time seems to be a quale as every other else. Though, the unique thing about it could be that it's actually measurable. People regulate their drowsiness by objective factors like ...
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What is the connection between color qualia and color frequencies? [closed]

I acknowledge that what we perceive electromagnetic waves of frequency 400 micro meters as green because that's what we decided to call green and not the other way around. But by our experience of ...
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Qualia in Computers [closed]

If it is possible to simulate consciousness using computer hardware and software, does that mean that computers are able to experience qualia?
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Is the person in the mirror an example of a philosophical zombie?

Consider the following situation: You are in a room that has a mirror as one of its walls. You assert/commit to that you are conscious and have qualia. You look at the mirror, and you observe your ...
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Can zombies have meaningful lives?

Can zombies have meaningful lives? If not, does that mean a meaningful life is "like" something?
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What are convincing examples of “mistaken” qualia?

What is the strongest example that we can be mistaken about the experience of our qualia? The reasoning for the infallibility of the experience of qualia is based on the immediateness of qualia. ...
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Dennett's claims on Qualia (based upon Sweet Dreams)

Dennett claims qualia is a faux pas, a logical fallacy, held by the philosophical community, but this is based upon specific sources that remove some "qualities" of qualia. For instance, not all ...
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What is the role of sensations in Wittgenstein's private language argument?

In Philosophical Investigations 244-254, before talking about private signs, Wittgenstein is talking about sensations. He seems to divide this section into addressing in what way words refer to ...
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Do qualia have an evolutionary purpose? (assuming they exist)

Do qualia have an evolutionary function, and if so what is it? Could qualia help us solve problems that Turing machines can't solve? Could qualia help us solve problems faster than normal computers? ...
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The main reasons for “qualia” being a problem?

What is the main problem behind secondary qualities/qualia? Because the length of a geometrical object, for example, is a visual sensation just like the redness of a rose; at this point, one might ...
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Senses without phenomenology: are they quales?

Can there be sense experience without phenomenological existence, in the Husserlian sense of the things themselves being given to consciousness? Are they like something? Just as the smell of mint has ...
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Suffering, the sacred, and the sublime: what should science make of the third kind of knowledge?

Ryle and Wittgenstein carved out knowledge-how (craft) as irreducible to the traditional propositional knowledge, Ryle gave accepting the irreducibility the scary name of anti-intellectualism. SEP ...
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Why is the existence of qualia considered an argument for dualism and against materialism?

Qualia is the term to used describe actual subjective experience and sensation, as opposed to mere knowledge and information. The concept is best described by Frank Jackson's color blind scientist ...
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Can conjoined twins share a mind?

A unique recent case of conjoined twins having a neural bridge connecting their brains raises some philosophical questions concerning mind sharing and the mind-body problem. From the article by ...
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Are all subjective impressions qualia?

In other words, is it possible to claim that sentiments, emotions, and experiences influence people to have different subjective impressions of a picture without affirming the existence of qualia?
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Qualia and the Myth of the Given

I have a problem understanding Sellar's opinion about Qualia. On the one hand he denies the existence of the given in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" but on the other hand he speaks about the ...
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Qualia without consciousness or sense

Similar to this question I wondered whether affect was a qualia, and if so whether it can be shown to depend on other aspects of experience (consciousness, tactile feelings). Perhaps there is nothing ...
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What makes our senses qualitatively different from each other?

What exactly makes our experience of sight different from, say, our experience of smell? What gives rise to these as distinct types of qualia? If vision, olfaction and the rest are each a dimension of ...
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How materialism can be consistent in the context of qualia and simplicity?

Apologies for my English. Some thoughts from the camp of idealists. :) The following is the explanation of the question in the title. I think that the fact that in our days physicists may be ...
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What exactly is the persuasive power behind Jackson's “Mary's Room” argument?

The knowledge argument (also known as Mary's room or Mary the super-scientist) is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article "Epiphenomenal Qualia" (1982) and extended ...
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How do res cogitans and res extensa interact?

In all religions that ever existed, there is a soul and a God - two intangible things. From physics we know that there is no difference between a particle without the electrical charge, mass and ...
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What is it like to be happy?

I accept that pain is a quale, or qualia. But does anyone suggest that happiness and sadness, aren't - that someone who has never been happy doesn't learn what happiness is by being happy, that we ...
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How have philosophers tried to argue for qualia?

What is the difference between the intuition that there is something it is like, qualitative experience, and faith in it? Is it possible to convince someone who doesn't believe there is something it ...
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What is an infintely small unit (of time)

Is there a philosophy of the infinitely small? Does anyone apply it to qualitative experience, and ask if that is divided up into instants? It seems to me that the infinitely small could not be like ...