The Transparency of Qualia and the Nature of Introspection

Philosophical Writings 29 (2):21-44 (2005)
The idea that the phenomenal character of experience is determined by non-intentional properties of experience, what philosophers commonly call qualia, seems to conflict with the phenomenology of introspection. Qualia seem to be transparent, or unavailable, to introspection. This has led intentionalists to deny that the phenomenal character of experience is a non-intentional property of experience—to deny there are qualia. It has led qualia realists to deny the transparency of qualia or to question the reliability of introspection. In this paper, I present what I call the problem of transparency and show that it is what lies at the core of this recent debate over the nature of phenomenal experience. The main positions in the qualia debate can be seen as providing solutions to this problem; however, none of these positions recognizes the central role introspection plays in uncovering the nature of experience
Keywords Experience  Introspection  Metaphysics  Qualia  Transparency
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