PHI 2010 SFCC Qualities to Consciousness that Only Our Own Being Can Know Discussion

PHI 2010

South Florida Community College


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I’m stuck on a Philosophy question and need an explanation.

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No, really. Are there qualities to consciousness or experience --whether your own, or others' -- that only you, or only beings like you, can know? Can you know what it is like for a bat to be a bat? Could a really great poet or novelist know what it is like for a bat to be a bat?

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"Bats, although more closely related to us than those of other species, nevertheless present a range of activity and sensory apparatus so different from ours" (Solomon & Higgins 188). Even when species are closely related to humans, allowing some similarities, it is impossible to fully understand what it is like to be a bat. One could possibly understand certain situations that would relate to a bat; however, they have qualities that are impossible for us to relate to. For example, we can imagine what it is like to fly; however, we cannot truly understand considering humans do not have wings. Some could relate to the idea of being in small dark areas, but to truly know what it is like to live in small dark spaces similar to a bat is still somewhat difficult to understand. Our own experiences possibly allow us to relate somewhat to what a bat would experience; regardless, we are humans are unable to fully relate to a bat.

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Indeed, leave alone bats, it is quite difficult to know what it is like for another hum...

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