Hyponoetics - Glossary
Qualia Quantum Physics

Quale. Plural: 'qualia'. A quale, such as red, is a quality considered as it appears to consciousness rather than as science might define it. Qualia are like sense data, but universal, not particular. Etymologically 'quale' is to 'quality' as 'quantum' is to 'quantity'. Two associated problems concern 'absent qualia' (...might someone have no experiences at all but live like a human while being a zombie?) , and 'inverted qualia' (whenever we both see something we both call red, might you be having an experience I would call green if I had it?).
(A.R. Lacey: A Dictionary of Philosophy, Routledge 1986)

The subjective qualities of conscious experience. Examples are the way sugar tastes, the way vermilion looks, the way coffee smells, the way a cat's purr sounds, the way it feels to stub your toe. Accounting for these features of mental states has been one of the biggest obstacles to materialist solutions to the mind-body problem, because it seems impossible to analyse the subjective character of these phenomena, which are comprehensible only from the point of view of certain types of conscious beings, in objective physical terms which are comprehensible to any rational individual independently of his particular sensory faculties.
(Ted Honderich: The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press 1995)

see also this online abstract, compiled by David Chalmers, on Consciousness and Qualia.

Since this topic is much too comprehensive to be dealt with at this place, I refer to various books that introduce the concepts and implications of Quantum Physics. Furthermore, I list a few Web resources that cover this topic:


  • Gary Zukav: The Dancing Wu Li Masters
  • Nick Herbert: Quantum Reality
  • Donah Zohar: The Quantum Self
  • John Gribbin: In Search of Schrödinger's Cat
  • Michael Talbot: Mysticism and the New Physics
  • Fritjof Capra: The Tao of Physics
  • J.C. Polkinghorne: The Quantum World
  • Henry P. Stapp: Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechancis
  • Benjamin Pinkel: Consciousness, Matter, and Energy
  • Amit Goswami: The Self-Aware Universe - How Consciousness creates the Material World
  • David Z. Albert: Quantum Mechanics and Experience
  • Ken Wilber, ed.: Quantum Questions (Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists)
  • David Hodgson: The Mind Matters
  • B.J. Hiley, F. David Peat: Quantum Implications
  • David Bohm: Wholeness and the Implicate Order
  • Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy
  • Henry Margenau: The Miracle of Existence
  • Roger Penrose: The Emperor's New Mind
  • Ken Wilber, ed.: The Holographic Paradigm and other paradoxes

Web Resources: