Quality & qualia


Quality (how good something is) is difficult to quantify. In this entry ‘quality’ means the peculiar character of something. The term ‘quality’ is somewhat controversial. Subjective experience does not conform a one-to-one correspondence with a stimulus. That’s why we learn to see, hear, etc. Quality is nuance and refinement.

Is the quality in the object or is it in the perception by the subject? I’m inclined to think that it exists in the act of perceptual experience. 

Qualia are defined as individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. The study of qualia is focused on the properties of the experience of an object. 

I worry about our current obsession to quantify things of which we know little about. Studying things allows us to fine-tune our perception to discover the qualities of what is perceived. 

Steve Jobs dropped out of university and took a course in formal handwriting. It was probably what made him so sensitive to the quality of design. Jobs said ‘it was subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating… We build it all into the Mac.’


Brush and Chinese ink on stone paper
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