Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Inverted Spectra, Philosophy of Mind: A term used to describe a thought experiment showing that we cannot be sure that stimuli (here light wavelengths) will be translated into similar mental states by all subjects. It is possible that a color is not localized at the same place on the color spectrum for all subjects, e.g. in an extreme case one may see something as red which another person considers to be green. Since the use of language is based on both having learned public language, they would use the same word despite their differing subjective experience. See also knowledge how, private language, qualia, skepticism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Pauen I 143
Inverted spectra/DennettVs inverted spectra/Pauen: behavior and phenomenal experience cannot be separated because they are interwoven on the neural level. - With that consciousness and behavior are inseparable.
I 184
Inverted spectra/missing Qualia/Pauen: common thesis of both arguments: it is impossible to establish a connection between phenomenal and physiological knowledge - so neurobiological theories would be fundamentally unsuited for knowledge of phenomenal processes. - Nevertheless, causal effectiveness of mental properties possible. - No epiphenomenalism.
I 186
Phenomenal states/Vs Inverted spectra/Pauen: the specific quality of a phenomenal state is rarely determined only by its location within a frame of reference - so there is probably no sensation of red itself. - One cannot talk reasonable of differences of the spectrum between people. Maximum change in a person.
I 187
Inverted spectra/Vs inverted spectra/Pauen: the spectrum is not symmetric. - This is noticeable in our discernment. - Primary colors and mixed colors would be displayed on each other in different numbers. - Orange and Red are turning both into Brown, if they are darkened. - Solution: could be corrected, if one sets exactly the mirror axis through the axis of orange/brown. - Problem: that would display secondary colors on primary colors. - Pauen: therefore the thought experiment fails through the imaginability.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Pauen I
M. Pauen
Grundprobleme der Philosophie des Geistes Frankfurt 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-18
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