Quality and Qualia

While Phaedrus of _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_ insists that Quality gives rise (to the sense of?) Subject and Object, a Qualia begins its existence when the Subject becomes aware of the Object. Let me show you how.

When photons of light strike your retina, in order for them to contribute to your visual perception, they have to strike certain pigments. If someone is red/green blind, their perception of the scene before them is somewhat different from mine, and presumably yours. (If I wrote this piece in red and green text, such that anyone lacking "normal" color vision would just see a pile of nonsense, that would clinch the matter, wouldn't it? P:D ) You or I could perform experiments, giving lots of qualitative and quantitative data as to how such a person sees the world, neither of us can exactly reproduce what the other person sees for ourselves. Of course, once you admit a unique percept, can a unique mental state be far behind? I don't think so.

A second example would be my witnessing an annular solar eclipse, and the wavy patterns of shadow and light that are projected on the ground. I can (feebly) describe them, but they can't be photographed, and reproducing what I saw on that day would be exceptionally difficult, if not impossible. If you could reproduce it, would it have the same depth of psychological effect upon me that the original did? If that's the only difference, is it important enough to grant Qualia as a concept worthy of our attention? I argue that unique Qualia create unique mental, social, physical, and historical events.

And by the way, the only word that rhymes with "Qualia" is "Orange". P:D

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