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PHI1103 - Quining Qualia

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University of Ottawa
Paul Forster

PHI1103▯ Jan. 30th, 2014 P1:An organism has conscious mental state if and only if there is something it is like to be that organism P2: Conscious mental states are subjective: (1) They have a character or content; (2) determined by a single type of point of view; and (3) accessible to a simple type of point of view P3: Organisms can conceive, imagine or know the subjective character of mental states of their organism if only they are sufficiently similar in point of view to them P4: Physical science (physiology included) provides objective knowledge (ie. knowledge that is completely independent of any point of view) P5: Bat sonar is sufficiently different from human perception that it contributes a dramatically distinct point of view C1: We cannot know, conceive, or imagine what it is like to be a bat “What is it like to be a bat” - We don’t know if someone really has a mind - “When we taste, we just taste” - We can’t know what it’s like to be a bat because a bat has a different point of view, we can’t assume the bat’s point of view because we don’t have the bat’s sonar - We can’t know what it’s like to be a bat FORABAT “Quining Qualia” - intuition pump #1: watching you eat cauliflower - you know what your taste is because you’re tasting it, but it’s hidden from everybody else - we don’t share the same chemical reactions in the tongue - you know in ways that nobody else can’t know - intuition pump #2: the wine-tasting machine - used to prove intuition pump #1 - however the good the machine is, we won’t be able to enjoy what we enjoy when we have the wine - the machine won’t have the conscious experience as we do - there’s a special property - object is red, A sees red and says red, B says red but sees violet - one subjective experience may be different from the other - what matters is that B can tell the different between something that’s red or isn’t red - does the qualitative in your head matter or does
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