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Friday, March 17, 2023


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>For that very reason, a sensory quale such as a green after-image cannot be assimilated to a green unicorn.<

You misunderstand my argument of the last thread. Consider the two consequences:

(1) I am thinking of a green after-image, therefore something is green
(2) I am visually experiencing a green after-image, therefore something is green

I continue to reject (1) on the grounds that “is thinking of” is an intentional verb phrase. You remember we discussed the Intentionalist Fallacy a while. This is the fallacy of supposing that an intentional verb is non-intentional.

But I am open to (2). Visually experiencing does not seem to me like thinking. In the case of after-images, also mirror images, there really is something there. So “is visually experiencing” is plausibly a non-intentional verb. It implies that something corresponds to its grammatical accusative.

Note that the argument as I have rephrased it does not depend on any purported difference between after-images and unicorns.

> Give us some good reasons why you will not admit qualia.

I have already agreed that in the case of (2), there really is something green. And given that nothing is green either inside or outside my brain, it seems to follow that some mental but non-physical green item exists.

Where does that leave us?

But Ed, what is at issue is not thinking about a green after-image or any sensory quale; what is at issue is the experiencing (of) a green after-image. Your problem, I think, is that in your language-analytic excess you resolutely refuse to do any phenomenology.

Try this: stare for a moment at a very bright light. Then shut your eyes. If you see an after-image, THAT is what the discussion is about.

>what is at issue is not thinking about a green after-image

I agree, which is why I accept (2) but reject (1). Experiencing is not the same as thinking. Why? Because I have done the 'phenomenology'. I am agreeing with you.

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