Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

1.7c. Eliminativism about Qualia (Eliminativism about Qualia on PhilPapers)

See also:
Arvan, Marcus (1998). Out with Qualia and in with Consciousness: Why the Hard Problem is a Myth. Dissertation, Tufts Honours Thesis   (Google)
Abstract: The subjective features of conscious mental processes--as opposed to their physical causes and effects--cannot be captured by the purified form of thought suitable for dealing with the physical world that underlies appearances." (Nagel, in Dennett, 1991, p. 372)
de Leon, David (2001). The qualities of qualia. Communication and Cognition 34 (1):121-138.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This essay is a defence of the traditional notion of qualia - as properties of consciousness that are ineffable, intrinsic, private and immediately apprehensible - against the eliminative attempts of Daniel Dennett in the influential article "Quining Qualia." It is suggested that a thorough exploration of the concept is an appropriate starting point for future explanations of qualia, and the essay ends with some possible explanations of the four traditional properties
Dennett, Daniel C. (1991). Lovely and suspect qualities. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), [Book Chapter]. Ridgeview.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A family of compelling intuitions work to keep "the problem of consciousness" systematically insoluble, and David Rosenthal, in a series of papers including the one under discussion, has been resolutely driving these intuitions apart, exposing them individually to the light, and proposing alternatives. In this instance the intuition that has seemed sacrosanct, but falls to his analysis, is the intuition that "sensory quality" and consciousness are necessarily united: that, for instance, there could not be unconscious pains, or unconscious subjective shades of blue, or unconscious aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans. The particular airborne polymers that are the vehicles of freshly roasted coffee beans could exist, of course, in the absence of any observer, and hence of any consciousness, but the sensory quality of that aroma requires--according to well-entrenched intuition--not only an observer but a conscious observer. Such properties have no esse except as percipi
Dennett, Daniel C. (1988). Quining qualia. In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 191 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: "Qualia" is an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us. As is so often the case with philosophical jargon, it is easier to give examples than to give a definition of the term. Look at a glass of milk at sunset; the way it looks to you--the particular, personal, subjective visual quality of the glass of milk is the quale of your visual experience at the moment. The way the milk tastes to you then is another, gustatory quale, and how it sounds to you as you swallow is an auditory quale; These various "properties of conscious experience" are prime examples of qualia. Nothing, it seems, could you know more intimately than your own qualia; let the entire universe be some vast illusion, some mere figment of Descartes' evil demon, and yet what the figment is made of (for you) will be the qualia of your hallucinatory experiences. Descartes claimed to doubt everything that could be doubted, but he never doubted that his conscious experiences had qualia, the properties by which he knew or apprehended them
Dennett, Daniel C. (ms). Two Black boxes: A fable.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Once upon a time, there were two large black boxes, A and B, connected by a long insulated copper wire. On box A there were two buttons, marked *a* and *b*, and on box B there were three lights, red, green, and amber. Scientists studying the behavior of the boxes had observed that whenever you pushed the *a* button on box A, the red light flashed briefly on box B, and whenever you pushed the *b* button on box A, the green light flashed briefly. The amber light never seemed to flash. They performed a few billion trials, under a very wide variety of conditions, and found no exceptions. There seemed to them to be a causal regularity, which they conveniently summarized thus
Dennett, Daniel C. (1981). Wondering where the yellow went. The Monist 64 (January):102-8.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Everett, Anthony (1996). Qualia and vagueness. Synthese 106 (2):205-226.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Garcia-Carpintero, Manuel (2003). Qualia that it is right to Quine. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):357-377.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Hacker, R. S. (2005). Goodbye to qualia and all what? A reply to David Hodgson. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (11):61-66.   (Google)
Hall, Richard J. (2007). Phenomenal properties as dummy properties. Philosophical Studies 135 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Can the physicalist consistently hold that representational content is all there is to sensory experience and yet that two perceivers could have inverted phenomenal spectra? Yes, if he holds that the phenomenal properties the inverts experience are dummy properties, not instantiated in the physical objects being perceived nor in the perceivers
Hodgson, David (2005). Goodbye to qualia and all that? Review article. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (2):84-88.   (Google)
Abstract: Max Bennett is a distinguished Australian neuroscientist, Peter Hacker an Oxford philosopher and leading authority on Wittgenstein. A book resulting from their collaboration, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, has received high praise. According to the Blackwell website, G.H. von Wright asserts that it 'will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem that there is'; and Sir Anthony Kenny says it 'shows that the claims made on behalf of cognitive science are ill-founded'. M.R. Bennett & P.M.S. Hacker, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003)
Jacoby, H. (1985). Eliminativism, meaning, and qualitative states. Philosophical Studies 47 (March):257-70.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Levine, Joseph (1994). Out of the closet: A qualophile confronts qualophobia. Philosophical Topics 22:107-126.   (Cited by 7 | Annotation | Google)
Levin, Michael E. (1981). Phenomenal properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (March):42-58.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Mason, Danielle (2005). Demystifying without quining: Wittgenstein and Dennett on qualitative states. South African Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):33-43.   (Google | More links)
Park, Eugene (1997). Against Dennett's eliminativism: Preserving qualia as a coherent concept. The Dualist 4.   (Google)
Pradhan, R. C. (2002). Why qualia cannot be quined. Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 19 (2):85-102.   (Google)
P, (2000). Naturalizing qualia, destroying qualia. Dialogos 35 (76):65-83.   (Google)
Ross, Don (1993). Quining qualia Quine's way. Dialogue 32 (3):439-59.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Seager, William E. (1993). The elimination of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (2):345-65.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Wright, Edmond L. (1989). Querying "quining qualia". Acta Analytica 4 (5):9-32.   (Google)
Wright, Edmond L. (online). The defence of qualia.   (Google)
Abstract: In view of the excellent arguments that have been put forth recently in favour of qualia, internal sensory presentations, it would strike an impartial observer - one could imagine a future historian of philosophy - as extremely odd why so many philosophers who are opposed to qualia, that is, sensory experiences internal to the brain, have largely ignored those arguments in their own. There has been a fashionable assumption that any theory of perception which espouses qualia has long since been overcome by a number of 'formidable' objections, in particular, the Homunculus/Infinite Regress Objection, the Solipsism Objection, Austin's Illusion/Delusion Objection, the Ludicrousness-of-Colours-in-the-Brain Objection, the Indirect-Realist-has-to-assume-Direct-Realism Objection, the Impossibility-of-Comparing-Internal-with-External Objection, the Impossibility of Intrinsic Experience, and several more minor varieties of these. It is uncanny how they continue to be repeated, indeed, with a kind of automatism, evidenced by the fact that none of those who repeat them appear to have taken note of the answers to the objections. Indeed, they only appear to refer to those philosophers with whom they agree: it has long been insisted upon in the study of rhetoric that one of the weakest things to do in an argument is to ignore the main points made by one's opponent:
[it is] the wisest plan _to state Objections in their full force_ ; at least, wherever there does exist a satisfactory
answer to them; otherwise, those who hear them stated more strongly than by the uncandid advocate who
had undertaken to repel them, will naturally enough conclude that they are unanswerable. It is but a
momentary and ineffective triumph that can be obtained by man