Quining diet qualia

Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):667-676 (2012)
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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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Keith Frankish
University of Sheffield

References found in this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
The intrinsic quality of experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Quining qualia.Daniel C. Dennett - 1988 - In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.

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