Frank Jackson on qualia

  1. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    Frank Jackson on "qualia"

    In "Epiphenomenal Qualia", when Frank Jackson describes qualia he says he thinks there are “certain features of the bodily sensations especially, but also of certain perceptual experiences, which no amount of purely physical information includes.”

    My question is: what is the difference between these "bodily sensations" and "perceptual experiences" he refers to? It seems to me that a bodily sensation IS a perceptual experience. :confused:

    I would love an example of the difference if anyone has one.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Chronos

    Chronos 10,046
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    OOBE.. very unphysical.
     
  4. Les Sleeth

    Les Sleeth 2,202
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    He seems to be distinquishing between simple awareness of sensations, and the qualia aspect which is what those sensations "are like" to the experiencer. First he says, "Clearly the same style of Knowledge argument could be deployed for taste, hearing, the bodily sensations . . ."

    And then he says, ". . . and generally speaking for the various mental states which are said to have (as it is variously put) raw feels, phenomenal features or qualia."

    Yet he goes on to seemingly blur his own distinctions by saying, "The conclusion in each case is that the qualia are left out of the physicalist story."
     
  5. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    Thanks, Les. I think I understand a little better. I guess it's like the difference between the simple awareness of a tickling sensation and the experience of "what it is like to be tickled".
     
  6. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    Out Of Bovine Experience? Completely physical! :biggrin:
    (Just kidding.)

    We actually talked a little bit about that subject in class - specifically is it possible to imagine a completely non-sensory conscious experience? Most people brought up OOBEs as an example, but I think it's more interesting to imagine what it would be like if your senses were taken away one by one and you reduced to nothing but a "thinking thing" as Descartes would say. What would your experience be like then? You would still have your imagination and your memories and you would have to live entirely inside of them I suppose.
     
  7. Les Sleeth

    Les Sleeth 2,202
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    Sensory deprivation devices offer some clue, as does the meditation I practice which also can subdue even thinking and imagination. It is suprising what is still present as consciousness when you eliminate all the internal "noise."
     
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