Paper 1 — Question 3: Dennett’s “Quining Qualia”
Daniel Dennett looks to quine qualia, or completely disprove their existence, in “Quining Qualia.” He is successful in creating a theoretical framework by which many intuitive arguments for qualia can be struck down. Because of his success, an argument from introspection is difficult to make; Dennett seems to successfully refute many of the arguments given by intuition or folk psychology. I will adopt Eugene Park’s criticism in critiquing Dennett, showing that an argument from introspection can provide some insight into how qualia might exist. Park argues that relying on memory comparison is incomplete, and unfairly eliminates direct apprehensibility.
In “Quining Qualia,”…show more content… This makes qualia inherently private. The fourth and last quality is direct apprehensibility to consciousness. This describes the fact that we know everything about our own qualia, and we can easily access all of its properties. Dennett explains that because qualia are “properties of my experiences,” they therefore must be accessible to one’s conscious states (229).
The coffee-test case: Intuition pump 7 – Chase and Sanborn Dennett uses the seventh intuition pump to explore the relationship between qualia and reactive attitudes to those qualia. The situation involves two coffee tasters who work for Maxwell House, ensuring that each batch is of consistent quality. After six years of tastings, both Chase and Sanborn declare that they used to like the taste of the coffee, but that this is no longer the case. Chase says that he thinks that the coffee tastes the same as it did six years ago, but that he has become a more “sophisticated” coffee drinker and his more unfavorable reaction (or reactive attitude) towards the coffee has decreased his enjoyment of it. Sanborn, however, does not like the coffee because he says his taste buds have changed, and now the coffee tastes worse than before. Sanborn claims that his taste-qualia have changed, not his reactive attitude towards the coffee. It is difficult, however, to discern whether Chase and Sanborn are actually correct in