Consciousness, Qualia, and Subjective Experience

  • David D. Franks
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


Quale is defined, and examples of qualia are given. Their relation to conscious and the “intentionality” thereof is explained. The philosophical context in which qualia are embedded is reviewed, and since qualia are so subjective, their relationship to sociology and its basic unit of analysis is clarified. Next quale is related to intersubjectivity since their subjectivity seems so opposed to it also. Dualism becomes relevant again and G.H. Mead’s use of transaction as a way out of dualism is once again reviewed. Quale is then related to Descartes’s Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am. Quale is related to sensations and tangible objects as well as science. David Chalmers’ work on consciousness is addressed since quale is that of which we are conscious.


Consciousness Intentionality Dualism Taste Intersubjectivity Relation to sociology Descartes Chalmers Transaction “Neuroism” 


  1. Chalmers, D. (2002). Philosophy of mind: Classical and contemporary readings. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Emirbayer, M. (1997). Manifesto for a relational sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 103(2), 324–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gazzaniga, M. (2013). Consciousness and the social brain. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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