Qualia

In Richard L. Gregory (ed.), Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford University Press (2004)
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Abstract

Qualia include the ways things look, sound and smell, the way it feels to have a pain; more generally, what it's like to have mental states. Qualia are experiential properties of sensations, feelings, perceptions and, in my view, thoughts and desires as well. But, so defined, who could deny that qualia exist? Yet, the existence of qualia is controversial. Here is what is controversial: whether qualia, so defined, can be characterized in intentional, functional or purely cognitive terms. Opponents of qualia think that the content of experience is intentional content, or that experiences are functionally definable, or that to have a qualitative state is to have a state that is monitored in a certain way or accompanied by a thought to the effect that I have that state. If we include the idea that experiential properties are not intentional or functional or purely cognitive in the definition of ` qualia ', then it is controversial whether there are qualia

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Author's Profile

Ned Block
New York University

References found in this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Troubles with functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
The intrinsic quality of experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.

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