The Case for Qualia

Edited by Edmond Wright

Many philosophers and cognitive scientists dismiss the notion of qualia, sensory experiences that are internal to the brain. Leading opponents of qualia (and of Indirect Realism, the philosophical position that has qualia as a central tenet) include Michael Tye, Daniel Dennett, Paul and Patricia Churchland, and even Frank Jackson, a former supporter. Qualiaphiles apparently face the difficulty of establishing philosophical contact with the real when their access to it is seen by qualiaphobes to be second-hand and, worse, hidden behind a "veil of sensation"—a position that would slide easily into relativism and solipsism, presenting an ethical dilemma. In The Case for Qualia, proponents of qualia defend the Indirect Realist position and mount detailed counterarguments against opposing views.

The book first presents philosophical defenses, with arguments propounding, variously, a new argument from illusion, a sense-datum theory, dualism, "qualia realism," qualia as the "cement" of the experiential world, and "subjective physicalism." Three scientific defenses follow, discussing color, heat, and the link between the external object and the internal representation. Finally, specific criticisms of opposing views include discussions of the Churchlands' "neurophilosophy," answers to Frank Jackson's abandonment of qualia (one of which is titled, in a reference to Jackson’s famous thought experiment, "Why Frank Should Not Have Jilted Mary"), and refutations of Transparency Theory.

Contributors: Torin Alter, Michel Bitbol, Harold I. Brown, Mark Crooks, George Graham, C.L. Hardin, Terence E. Horgan, Robert J. Howell, Amy Kind, E.J. Lowe, Riccardo Manzotti, Barry Maund, Martine Nida-Rümelin, John O'Dea, Isabelle Peschard, Matjaž Potrc, Diana Raffman, Howard Robinson, William S. Robinson, John R. Smythies, Edmond Wright Edmond Wright is the editor of New Representationalisms: Essays in the Philosophy of Perception and the author of Narrative, Perception, Language, and Faith.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction by Edmond Wright
  4. I. Philosophical Defenses
  5. 1. The Case for Indirect Realism

    Harold I. Brown

  6. 2. Illusions and Hallucinations as Evidence for Sense Data

    E. J. Lowe

  7. 3. Experience and Representation

    William S. Robinson

  8. 4. Qualia Realism: Its Phenomenal Contents and Discontents

    George Graham and Terence Horgan

  9. 5. The World of Qualia

    Matjaz Potrc

  10. 6. Subjective Physicalism

    Robert J. Howell

  11. II. Scientific Defenses
  12. 7. Color Qualities and the Physical World

    C. L. Hardin

  13. 8. Heat, Temperature, and Phenomenal Concepts

    Isabelle Peschard and Michel Bitbol

  14. 9. A Process-oriented View of Qualia

    Riccardo Manzotti

  15. 10. The Ontological Status of Qualia and Sensations: How They Fit into the Brain

    John Smythies

  16. III. Attacks
  17. 11. The Churchlands' War on Qualia

    Mark Crooks

  18. 12. Why Frank Should Not Have Jilted Mary

    Howard Robinson

  19. 13. Phenomenal Knowledge without Experience

    Torin Alter

  20. 14. A Defense of Qualia in the Strong Sense

    Barry Maund

  21. 15. How to Believe in Qualia

    Amy Kind

  22. 16. Transparency and the Unity of Experience

    John O'Dea

  23. 17. Phenomenal Character and the Transparency of Experience

    Martine Nida-Rümelin

  24. 18. From the Looks of Things: The Explanatory Failure of Representationalism

    Diana Raffman

  25. 19. Why Transparency Is Unethical

    Edmond Wright

  26. Contributors
  27. Index