Friday, 13 April 2007

From "Why Did We Think We Dreamed in Black and White?"

by Eric Schwitzgebel.

Tapia, Werboff, and Winukur (1958) found that only about 9% of a sample of people reporting to Washington University in St. Louis for non-psychiatric medical problems reported having colored dreams, compared with 12% of neurotic men and 21% of neurotic women.

[…]

Consider, as an analogy, a novel. While novels surely are not in black and white, it also seems a little strange to say that they are ‘in color’

[…]

I will conclude by raising the question of whether the phenomenology of dreaming is uniquely elusive or whether our knowledge of other aspects of our conscious experience, for example the experience of pain, imagery, thought, and vision, is equally poor. I am inclined to think the latter, that we are much worse phenomenologists than common sense and philosophy typically allow.

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