Buddhist terminology for Qualia?

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Buddhist terminology for Qualia?

Postby Viscid » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:32 am

How would Qualia be best described in pali? Would it be Vedana?

If you don't know what Qualia are, then from wikipedia:
"Qualia" (pronounced /ˈkwɑːliə/ or pronounced /ˈkweɪliə/), singular "quale" (pronounced /ˈkwɑːlɛ/), from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to describe the subjective quality of conscious experience. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the redness of an evening sky. Daniel Dennett writes that qualia is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us."[1]


It irritates me that there isn't a more concerted effort to directly relate Buddhist terminology to modern philosophy of mind and cognitive science. :x There's just so much overlap at this point.
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Re: Buddhist terminology for Qualia?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:40 am

Viscid wrote:How would Qualia be best described in pali? Would it be Vedana?

If you don't know what Qualia are, then from wikipedia:
"Qualia" (pronounced /ˈkwɑːliə/ or pronounced /ˈkweɪliə/), singular "quale" (pronounced /ˈkwɑːlɛ/), from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to describe the subjective quality of conscious experience. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the redness of an evening sky. Daniel Dennett writes that qualia is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us."[1]


It irritates me that there isn't a more concerted effort to directly relate Buddhist terminology to modern philosophy of mind and cognitive science. :x There's just so much overlap at this point.


No single word, probably. After all, these are different systems of thought.

"pain" is a type of vedana,
the "taste" would possibly involve vedana and sanna,
"redness" would be a sanna.

Both vedana and sanna all require a citta / vinnana, as do all mental states.

There is a fairly big effort between Buddhist thought and modern phil of mind, you may wish to check out groups like Mind and Life Institute.
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Re: Buddhist terminology for Qualia?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:43 pm

qualia means talking about valid cognition (pramana). valid cognition means talking about Master Dharmakirti and Master Dignaga. that means you pretty much have to head into sanskrit+tibetan land.

mental aspect, Tib: rnam pa Skt: akara
appearing object, Tib: snang yul Skt: pratibhasa-vishaya
conceived object, Tib: zhen yul Skt: adhyavasaya-vishaya

you could easily find another 20 terms because in buddhism qualia are not monolithic and unchanging, and so there are many terms to account for all the various parts to qualia, how they are brought about, different types, etc.

Viscid wrote:It irritates me that there isn't a more concerted effort to directly relate Buddhist terminology to modern philosophy of mind and cognitive science. :x There's just so much overlap at this point.

is there? most people are materialists which means qualia dont actually exist.
buddhism is based on perfecting introspection which means understanding how qualia function in order to remove troublesome qualia, namely grasping to self and suffering itself. for materialists, however, doing these things means just managing a complicated hydraulics system aka the brain
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Re: Buddhist terminology for Qualia?

Postby Viscid » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:37 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:"pain" is a type of vedana,
the "taste" would possibly involve vedana and sanna,
"redness" would be a sanna.


So would it be accurate to say that Vedana and Sanna (and Phassa?) are categories of qualia?

That mind and life institute looks like it relies too heavily on the Dalai Lama as an representative for all Buddhists and Buddhist thought.
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