Quining diet qualia

Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):667-676 (2012)
Abstract
This paper asks whether we can identify a neutral explanandum for theories of phenomenal consciousness, acceptable to all sides. The ‘classic’ conception of qualia, on which qualia are intrinsic, ineffable, and subjective, will not serve this purpose, but it is widely assumed that a watered-down ‘diet’ conception will. I argue that this is wrong and that the diet notion of qualia has no distinctive content. There is no phenomenal residue left when qualia are stripped of their intrinsicality, ineffability, and subjectivity. Thus, if we reject classic qualia realism, we should accept that all that needs explaining are ‘zero’ qualia – our dispositions to judge that our experiences have classic qualia. Diet qualia should, in Dennett’s phrase, be quined
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2011.04.001
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