Many philosophers doubt that one can provide any successful explanation of sensory qualities - of how things look, feel, or seem to a perceiving subject. To provide such an explanation, one would need to explain qualitative facts in non-qualitative terms. Attempts to construct such explanations have seemed, in principle, doomed. Austen Clark examines the strategy used in psychophysics, psychometrics, and sensory neurophysiology to explain qualitative facts. He argues that this strategy could succeed: its structure is sound, and it can answer the various philosophical objections lodged against it. On this basis Professor Clark presents an analysis of senosry qualities that offers the possibility of explaining at least some qualia, and he sketches how this scheme might eventually reduce to neurophysiology. If he is correct, we are not doomed to an eternity of mere acquaintance with our qualia.
Publisher: Oxford University Press