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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 87, Issue 1, July 2013

Lieven Decock, Igor Douven
Pages 129-150

Qualia Compression

Color qualia inversion scenarios have played a key role in various philosophical debates. Most notably perhaps, they have figured in skeptical arguments for the fundamental unknowability of other persons' color experiences. For these arguments to succeed, it must be assumed that a person's having inverted color qualia may go forever unnoticed. This assumption is now generally deemed to be implausible. The present paper defines a variant of color qualia inversion—termed "color qualia compression"—and argues that the possibility of undetectable color qualia compression is immune to the objections that have been levelled against color qualia inversion arguments, and that color qualia compression scenarios support full-blown skepticism regarding other people's color experiences.