Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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 Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon
Fodor IV 195
Qualia/Quality/Sensation/inverted spectra/Fodor/Lepore: it is conceptually possible that while you see something red, I see something green.
If the change is systematic, there is nothing in the behavior that could reveal it.
VsBehaviorism/VsFunctionalism: the inverted spectra appear to show that behaviorism is false. And also the functionalism. (Block/Fodor, Shoemaker).
One might think that a theory of qualitative content could solve the problem. But it is precisely the qualitative content that has been interchanged.
And precisely the concept of the sensitive identity becomes ambiguous.
VsChurchland: his approach does not help at all. The inscriptions of the points of the dice could also be inverted. ((s) One could always describe it, but one would not know which sensations are present in the other.)
IV 195/196
Even though this frequency combination represents this particular pink, it is conceptually possible that something has the first property, but not the second.
Inverted spectra/Qualia: Problem: there seems to be no property of a sensation except its qualitative content on which the qualitative content supervenes.
In particular, there appears to be no proportioned or neurophysiological property on which supervenience is guaranteed.
Inverted spectra/tradition: would say that Churchland's dimensions in the Qualia color dice represent by reference to properties that they do not necessarily possess.
Or, if you think that it is "metaphysically necessary" that color sensations have the psychophysical properties that they have, then one would have to say that this necessity is not brought about by any necessity between sensual concepts and psychophysical concepts.
One might well know that a sensation corresponds to a point in the color dice and still does not know how it is.
The dimensions do not determine the content.
Why not place a semantic space next to it, add the condition that the dimensions of the semantic space must be semantic? They would have to name content states through their content. E.g. Perhaps then one could identify uncle, aunt, president, Cleopatra etc. along these dimensions?
IV 197
E.g. Cleopatra, as a politician, is closer to the president than to marriageability.
Fodor/LeporeVsChurchland: that is what we are really interested in: a robust theory of the equality of content instead of identity of content that has been lost with the analytic/synthetic distinction.
Problem: Equality presupposes identity and a corresponding theory.

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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> Counter arguments in relation to Inverted Spectra

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-07-22