Re: qualia

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Tue Jul 31 2001 - 19:15:20 MDT

Evan Reese wrote:
[severe snippage]

> I've read about this before. But, unfortunately, being totally blind
> myself, I just can't relate to this visual example of qualia. I had the
> same problem with all the visual illustrations in his _Consciousness
> Explained_. I can remember the color red, but I still don't think I get it.
> Aside from that, if I ask ten people to draw for me a red fire engine, will
> they not be pretty much the same color? And will not most other people
> looking at these drawings agree that they are pretty much the same color?
> But this is all off topic, so I'll drop it. I will concede that there might
> be something to the notion of qualia, but that I am not really in a good
> position to evaluate it.

On the contrary, I think you are in the ideal position to evaluate it.
you are in effect an outside observer. Your observation is that the
term "qualia" has no agreed-upon objective referent. This makes me
feel a lot better, since I never felt comfortable with it. Your
physical condition lets you "see" the fact sighted people really do
perceive the same external referent for a color. (Sorry about the abuse
of the terminology here, I haven't studied this stuff.)

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