Re: qualia

Zeb Haradon (
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 17:51:20 -0800

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Clements <> To: <> Date: Monday, November 29, 1999 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: qualia

>I was afraid this was going to happen; lashing out against <qualia> reminds
me of
>cutting a head off the Hydra. For those of you who have decided to go in
here and
>feed these parasites, I strongly advise you to go get vaccinated at:
>where Daniel C. Dennett will build up your antimemie count on this one

Dennett is painfully wrong on the subject of qualia. Throughout all his works, he seems as if he just doesn't know what the word 'qualia' means. He treats them as a superstition, goes on to explain how they have no explanatory value and all that stuff, then just ignores the real issue. His argumentation is all very clever, but absurd. Nevertheless, I recommend reading "consciousness explained" - he doesn't explain consciousness as the title claims, but he has some good psychological theories in the book. The question is this: do you deny that there is a difference between YOUR subjective experience of red, and the objective movements of matter which constitute detection of the red-wavelength of light? If you say no, you must be fundementally different from me. If you say yes, then you're admitting qualia (as I define the term) exist. Your next line of argumentation might be to say that they don't exist, that they're just an illusion of some sort - that's fine.. I'd personally say that being an illusion constitutes existing, but that's just a semantic difference. The path from here is not to cop out like Dennett has, but to really try to explain how matter and energy result in this particular illusion we call qualia. I wan an explanation as precise as the one explaining why lasers refelcted in a certain way result in perception of holograms.

>Good Luck,