Consciousness and Qualia

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This is a philosophical study of qualitative consciousness, characteristic examples of which are pains, experienced colors, sounds, etc. Consciousness is analyzed as the <i>having</i> of <i>qualia</i>. Phenomenal properties or <i>qualia</i> are problematical because they lack appropriate bearers. The relation of <i>having</i> is problematical because none of the typical candidates for this relation — introspection, inner monitoring, higher level thoughts — is capable of explaining what it looks like to have a quale . The <i>qualia problem</i> is solved by introducing a bundle theory of phenomenal objects. Phenomenal objects are bundles of qualia. Thus there is no need for independent qualia bearers. The <i>having problem</i> is solved by introducing a bundle theory of the self. To have a quale is for it to be in the bundle one is. Thus no further relations are needed to explain how qualia are had. This study strives for phenomenological adequacy. Thus the first-person point of view dominates throughout. (Series A)

Subjects: Consciousness research; Cognitive psychology; Philosophy

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Notre Dame, Indiana

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