I’m subscribed this great YouTube channel called Vsauce. If you’re interested in the science and philosophy of ordinary things, it’s well worth your time to check it out.
I’m posting this particular video because I’m intrigued by the concept of qualia. I remember a moment when I was a child, asking my dad how we knew all reds were the same red to everyone (why is it always red?). I don’t remember his answer, but I suspect it was something along the lines of, ‘we can never know for sure.’ I think there are many parts of the human experience that fall into this category. We can’t know how another person sees color, how they experience emotion, feel pain, or how they love. Sure we can observe brain waves and behaviors and agree on common terminologies. But as the Vsauce host reminds us, we can’t crawl into another person’s consciousness to experience their individual reality. Perception is ultimately a solitary experience.
Many a social debate would become more meaningful if we remembered that.
- Can We Ever Really Know if Red is Red? [Video] (geekosystem.com)
- What Is It Like to Be a Bat? (theratchet.ca)
- Jamming About the Mind at Qualia Fest (reintegratenewhaven.com)
- Chalmeroff Scale Revisited (multisenserealism.com)