Qualia and Extended Field of Contemporary Design

Qualia and Extended Field of Contemporary Design

Leila Reinert (Anhembi Morumbi University, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0510-5.ch009


This study presents the concept of qualia, studied by neuroscience as one of the important aspects for the development of a conscious mind, and its association with the contemporary design focused on the subject. With the expansion of the field of design in understanding and extension, the meaning of the word design makes it necessary to review new relations that are formed among the artifact, user, and projected environment. The advancement of neurosciences combined with digital technologies provides a profound transformation in the understanding of human subjectivity when searching to unveil, empirically, the mysteries of the human mind. This transformation is directly linked to the manner in which designers design because they are responsible for redrafting the collective life on Earth before the forthcoming ecological crisis. Design and qualia are a necessary articulation to cautiously improve our surroundings.
Chapter Preview

Qualia And Consciousness

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, numerous researchers in the field of the philosophy of mind have discussed regarding the concept of qualia, issues of subjectivity, and neurobiological processes that cause consciousness. In particular, focus was placed on issues triggered mainly by the new instruments that science and contemporary technology introduced to scientific research concerning the relation between the mind and the brain, or in traditional terms, between the physical and the mental. Moreover, according to Searle (1997), the origin of consciousness has not been adequately explored because Western thinking finds it difficult to exclude obsolete categories or assumptions inherited from philosophical and religious tradition.

How do we get away from the polarities: duality or monism, materialism or idealism? How can we conceive the qualitative and subjective mental states like our joys, affections, memories and moods as being identical to the chemical processes and electrical discharges of a physical matter? What differentiates, then, an emotional thought from a stomach pain? On the other hand, as consciousness is conceived as a completely separate phenomenon of its materiality, as if it were a separate entity of the brain, what is the possible correlation for the existence of an ‘I’? In short, issues that seek scientific principles to understand the phenomenological and subjective qualities of our being and awareness in the world were considered to be epistemological problems without a solution for centuries.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: