more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5326

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 5. Self as Associations]

Full Idea

The ground for thinking that qualia are only experiences because they relate to a unifying subject is that they have to be identified, by being brought under concepts, and giving rise to judgements which usually go beyond them.


'Qualia' are raw unprocessed experiences

Gist of Idea

Qualia must be united by a subject, because they lead to concepts and judgements


A.J. Ayer (The Central Questions of Philosophy [1973], §VI.B)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'The Central Questions of Philosophy' [Penguin 1976], p.118

A Reaction

Thus one of Hume's greatest fans gives the clearest objection to Hume. It strikes me as a very powerful objection, better than anything Carruthers offers (1394,1395,1396). The conceptual element is very hard to disentangle from the qualia.

Related Ideas

Idea 1394 Can the mental elements of a 'bundle' exist on their own? [Carruthers]

Idea 1395 Why would a thought be a member of one bundle rather than another? [Carruthers]

Idea 1396 We identify persons before identifying conscious states [Carruthers]