Qualia and Consciousness

A public interest presenation in conjunction with the Consciousness Consensus Project

Lexicon for the Layman - Qualia and Consciousness

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Qualia is the plural of Quale, a concept of consciousness.

There are elemental intrinsic qualities, like redness and greenness, out of which composite qualitative experiences are composed. These, collectively, are called qualia.

When you see the redness of a strawberry, lots of conscious information is bound to the redness quality (component) of your knowledge of the strawberry. Other components of this knowledge include things like memories of what a strawberry that is red tastes like, what is required to pick it and eat it, and so on.

Some people incorrectly think of qualia as everything but the elemental redness. They think of elemental redness as being an intrinsic quality of the strawberry.

The emerging expert consensus camp known as ‚ÄúRepresentational Qualia Theory‚ÄĚ defines free will, higher order knowledge, intersubjective knowledge, self-awareness, desire, love, spirits, and all other similar concepts, including consciousness itself, as computationally bound composite qualia.

In a discussion of consciousness and knowledge, the component aspects or elements of knowledge come under scrutiny. A discussion of "knowledge", and what it actually consists of, involves a discussion of the component aspects or "qualia" of that knowledge.

Continue discussion: Are you Qualia Blind?

What is Qualia Blindness?

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