I recently read an article by a philosopher who stated that physicalism must be false or at least incomplete because it doesn't adequately account for experience. For example, say you knew all the physical information involved in seeing a sunset, even if you convey all that information to a person you'll never actually describe a sunset.
Say you know a blind woman (since birth) and she asks you "what's it like to experience a sunset?", do you go off saying well it's a wavelength hitting the photoreceptors in your eyes which send electrical signals to your brain, even if that's true she's still no closer to understanding what experiencing a sunset is like. The point being that you can't reduce experience (or qualia) down to purely physical information.
Personally I agree that it's impossible to describe experience with just physical information, even with something as simple as the smell of an orange, you can only communicate a description of what the smell of orange smells like tautologically, i.e. "it...
In describing Kant's idea of the "thing-in-itself" Thomas Pogge (in response to a recent question on this site) recently wrote that "According to this explanation, space and time are then features only of objects as they appear to us." I'm having a difficult time deciphering this statement. To me when you speak of a feature of an object you are referring to that object in-itself almost by definition. It seems like space and time could be either a feature of the world or a feature of our mind/cognition or psychic tendencies which we project onto the world but not both. To say that space/time is a feature of the world as it appears seems to involve a confusion of how language is used to speak about being. Appearances can reveal or distort being but I don't see how they can contribute to being. We don't speak of colors as features of the (outer) world as they appear to us do we? We try to figure whether colors originate in the mind or in the world and though we allow that there is some degree of interaction...
Is it at all a possibility for everyone in this world to see different colors but call them the same name? For example, if someone sees yellow, they call it yellow but another person sees the same color but to them it's green but since we've defined that it's yellow, they go along calling it yellow when really they see green.
Recently someone asked:
I wonder about the notion of a masochist as somebody who enjoys suffering. Is it possible, logically, to enjoy suffering? Doesn't suffering necessarily preclude enjoyment and vice-versa? Would it be more accurate to say that a masochist enjoys something that non-masochists consider suffering?
And a philosopher responded:
I think that one definition of suffering is 'pain'. And someone could gain pleasure from pain, physical, or indeed psychological. So to say that a masochist enjoys suffering sees fine to me.
Well.....I don't see much clarification here. Am I the only one? I think it might be just as hard for the question asker to imagine the relationship between suffering and pleasure and pain and pleasure. Maybe suffering is a larger category than pain that logically precludes pleasure so it's not hard to see a paradox there but with the narrower connotation of pain as a physical kind of suffering you can imagine that their can be an accompanying pleasure somehow. But the...