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The Case for Qualia$
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Edmond Wright

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262232661

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262232661.001.0001

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Why Transparency Is Unethical Edmond Wright

Why Transparency Is Unethical Edmond Wright

(p.341) 19 Why Transparency Is Unethical Edmond Wright
The Case for Qualia

Edmond Wright

The MIT Press

This chapter presents an ethical criticism of the transparency thesis. It is an ethical criticism for the reason that there are undoubtedly profound ethical issues that underlie the debate. The problems in the arguments for qualia lie on two fronts. First, in its much-touted challenge to common sense—the Berkeleian eccentricity betrayed by apparently claiming that human access to the real is indirect. Second, and more seriously, if it is the case that contact with the real is considered to be out of reach, then arguments for qualia are therefore presumed to be infected by association with relativism and solipsism. Both the righteously minded among philosophers and the tough-minded among physicalists are tempted to reject the proposal out of hand, the former for its rendering of truth and objectivity as dubious and the latter for its determined attempts to smuggle occult entities into science.

Keywords:   ethical criticism, transparency thesis, profound ethical issues, challenge to common sense, Berkeleian eccentricity, relativism, solipsism, physicalists, occult entities

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