Quality Space

Austen Clark

in Sensory Qualities

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236801
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679360 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Quality Space

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Efforts thus far have yielded an ability in principle to predict which classes of stimuli a given subject will find to be indiscriminable, and hence which pairs of stimuli the subject will find to be qualitatively identical. At least in some stimulus domains, one can predict which pairs of stimuli a given subject will find to present qualitatively identical sensory experiences. We can measure many of the factors that bear on the indiscriminability of stimulus domains, and construct mathematical models that predict matching with a fair degree of success. Much of the progress in the empirical study of perception since the mid-19th century can be detailed under this rubric. While qualia may still prove elusive, qualitative identity is increasingly within our grasp. This chapter discusses how differentiative properties can be identified. It also looks at order from indiscriminability, multidimensional orders, relative similarity as a basis, multidimensional scaling, companionship and community, dimensions and differentiative attributes, and circularity objections.

Keywords: stimuli; indiscriminability; perception; qualia; qualitative identity; differentiative properties; multidimensional orders; dimensions; relative similarity; multidimensional scaling

Chapter.  13912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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