Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Qualia, philosophy: qualia are the sensory-like correspondences to properties perceived on external objects or processes. Problems arise in connection with the explanation of their origin and their comparability between individuals. See also phenomena, sensory perception, sensations, perceptions, stimuli, qualities, subjectivity, intersubjectivity, objectivity, inverted spectra, consciousness.

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 Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon
Fodor IV 197
Sensation/Representation/Qualia/Semantics/Meaning/Fodor/Lepore: the question arises by itself: when are S1 and S2 the same state (in the semantic state space)?
But with the frequencies the old problem simply comes back.
IV 198
If we do not know what it is for two words to mean "marriageable", then we also do not know, for the same reason, how it is for two semantic spaces, if both have the dimension of marriageability.
Empiricism Tradition: has explained the semantic network by reference to what is fixed there. The dimensions should express observation characteristics and an externalistic (e.g. causal) theory should explain the relation. This is independent from the interpretation of the rest of the vocabulary.
Churchland: his suggestion is that the dimensions of the semantic space do not generally correspond to the observation properties. They can correspond to whatever the brain may represent.
Fodor/LeporeVsChurchland: but then again the question arises as to how the identity of the state spaces is fixed.
We have no other identity criterion than observation properties. Suppose we had one, the question of the semantic identity would be there again.
State spaces: we have a criterion for their identity only if we have one for the identity of their dimensions.
And we have a non-empirical criterion for the dimensions only if we have one for "the property expressed by a dimension of the state space" which applies to arbitrary properties, not only for observational properties.
IV 199
But that would be a criterion for equality of meaning.
Fodor/LeporeVsChurchland: already assumes an interpersonal concept for the identity of state spaces before it can reach its goal of explaining the concept of "content equality" (similarity).
He has presupposed the designations of the dimensions without permission.
The label of a dimension tells how to interpret it, e.g. Degree of F-ness. Why should a dimension then express F-ness and not rather G-ness? What makes it that the dimension in my state space expresses the same property as in yours? > Connectivity.
Fodor IV 205
11. IV 205
Empiricism/Tradition: our concepts are functions of our sensory concepts.
We have seen that Churchland's treatment of Qualia depends on mixing sensory and psychophysical terms.
(s) Sensory: (one aspect - but as a "sensory concept" again two aspects, but with the claim of providing the psychological explanation).
IV 248
Note 13 IV 205
But it does not follow from this that organisms with the same sensory equipment must also have the same concepts. They would only have to do so if their concepts occupied the same or similar positions in the semantic space.

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.

Churla I
Paul M. Churchland
Matter and Consciousness Cambridge 2013

Churli I
Patricia S. Churchland
Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Brains New York 2014

J. Fodor/E. Lepore
Holism Cambridge USA Oxford UK 1992

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-07-28