Reply To: Are You Comfortable with Qualia?

#4658 Score: 2

Kent Van Cleave
6 votes

I am experiencing a duality about qualia. On the one hand, I have long been a practitioner of “be here, now.” Being in the moment does enhance one’s life experience, and one’s ability to connect with others. It also helps us escape having our reality be filtered through the perceptual filters of our experience, wishes, and expectancies.

On the other hand, the discussion of qualia reminds me of the introspectionists who started the science of psychology. Trained to observe their own thought processes and feelings, and report on them, introspectionists generated masses of observations from which very little could be ascertained. Ultimately, psychology rejected introspection as unscientific. This led to the emergence of behaviorism, which was the ruling paradigm of psychology for half a century, and which simply denied unobservable, internal processes. Only in the last 40 years has behaviorism given way to a psychological paradigm, cognitivism, which acknowledges those unobservables.

Just as introspection changed thought processes, the observation of qualia must change qualia. (Schrodinger’s cat must be chuckling over this.) My thought is that we must not observe qualia, but strip away as many filters of awareness as we can and then simply be here, now.

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