You can identify a particular qualia with certain computational states of algorithms. All you need to do to (in principle) decide if a system is "experiencing the color red" is to see if the right algorithm is being executed.


Citeren Craig Weinberg <>:

On Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:57:34 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:

Good points.  The contrast is usually qualia-v-quanta. I think color can
be communicated
and we have an "RGB" language for doing so that makes it more quanta than

That doesn't work. RGB coordinates do not help a blind person visualize
Red. What we have is a model for the producing optical stimulation that is
typically associated with color perception. By contrast, a description of
an object as being at a particular longitude and latitude on Earth will be
valid for any body which can navigate public space.

extending your point to Schrodinger, if you're a wine connoisseur you have
a language for
communicating the taste of wine.  Most of us don't speak it, but most
people don't speak
differential equations either.  But those are all things that can be
shared.  The pain of
a headache generally can't be perceived by two different people.  But
there are
experiments that use small electric shocks to try to produce objective
scales of pain.  So
I think you are right that it is a matter of having developed the
language; I just don't
think color is the best example.

This is a total non-starter. You cannot make a brick feel pain by using the
right language.

I did a post today on perception which might help

In short, qualia is a continuum of private and public significance. The
more a particular phenomenon has to to with position and distance, the more
public it is. Simple as that.



On 10/25/2012 6:11 AM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
> I agree.
> is there something that can be perceived that is not qualia?  It�s
> less qualia  the shape and location of a circle in ha sheet of paper
> than its color?.The fact that the position and radius of the circle
> can be measured and communicated does not change the fact that they
> produce a subjective perception. so they are also qualia. Then the
> question becomes why some qualia are communicable (phenomena) and
> others do not? It may be because shape and position involve a more
> basic form of processing and the color processing is more complicated?
> O is because shape and position processing evolved to be communicable
> quantitatively between humans, while color had no evolutionary
> pressure to be a quantitative and communicable ?
> If everithig perceived is qualia, then the question is the opposite.
> Instead of �what is qualia under a materialist stance?, the question
> is why some qualia are measurable and comunicable in a mentalist
> stance, where every perception is in the mind, including the
> perception that I have a head with a brain?
> 2012/10/25 Roger Clough< <javascript:>>:
>> Dennett and others on qualia
>> 1) Schroedinger on qualia.
>> "Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the
experience of taking a recreational drug,
>> or the perceived redness of an evening sky. Daniel Dennett writes that
qualia is "an unfamiliar term for
>> something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways
things seem to us."[1] Erwin Schr�dinger,
>> the famous physicist, had this counter-materialist take: "The sensation
of colour cannot be accounted for by
>> the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Could the
physiologist account for it, if he had fuller
>> knowledge than he has of the processes in
>> the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical
nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so." [2]
>> The importance of qualia in philosophy of mind comes largely from the
fact that they are seen as posing a
>> fundamental problem for materialist explanations of the mind-body
problem. Much of the debate over their
>> importance hinges on the definition of the term that is used,
>> as various philosophers emphasize or deny the existence of certain
features of qualia. As such,
>> the nature and existence of qualia are controversial.
>> 2) Dennett on qualia
>> "In Consciousness Explained (1991) and "Quining Qualia" (1988),[19]
Daniel Dennett offers an argument against qualia that attempts to
>> show that the above definition breaks down when one tries to make a
practical application of it. In a series of thought experiments,
>> which he calls "intuition pumps," he brings qualia into the world of
neurosurgery, clinical psychology, and psychological experimentation.
>> His argument attempts to show that, once the concept of qualia is so
imported, it turns out that we can either make no use of it in the
>> situation in question, or that the questions posed by the introduction
of qualia are unanswerable precisely because of the special
>> properties defined for qualia."
>> Is this the height of arrogance or what ? Dennett essentially says
>> that qualia do not exist because he cannot explain them.
>> 3) The Nagel argument. The definition of qualia is not what they are,
but what they do..
>> what role they play ion consciusness. On the same page as above,
>> The "What's it like to be?" argument
>> Main article: Subjective character of experience
>> Although it does not actually mention the word "qualia," Thomas Nagel's
>> paper What Is it Like to Be a Bat?[4] is often cited in debates over
>> Nagel argues that consciousness has an essentially subjective
character, a
>> what-it-is-like aspect. He states that "an organism has conscious
mental states if and only i
>> if there is something that it is like to be that organism � something
it is like for the organism."
>>   Nagel also suggests that the subjective
>> aspect of the mind may not ever be sufficiently accounted for by the
objective methods of
>> reductionistic science (materialism). He claims that "[i]f we
acknowledge that a physical theory of mind
>>   must account for the subjective character of experience, we must
admit that no presently
>> available conception gives us a clue how this could be done."[6]
Furthermore, he states that
>> "it seems unlikely that any physical theory of mind can be contemplated
>> until more thought has been given to the general problem of subjective
and objective."[6]
>> 4) The zombie argument (from the link already given)
>> The zombie argument
>> Main article: Philosophical zombie
>> " A similar argument holds that it is conceivable that there could be
physical duplicates of people,
>> called "zombies," without any qualia at all. These "zombies" would
demonstrate outward behavior
>> precisely similar to that of a normal human, but would not have a
subjective phenomenology.
>> It is worth noting that a necessary condition for the possibility of
philosophical zombies is that
>> there be no specific part or parts of the brain that directly give rise
to qualia�the zombie can only
>> exist if subjective consciousness is causally separate from the
physical brain."
>> Roger Clough, <javascript:>
>> 10/25/2012
>> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
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