Qualia, Nonlinear Dynamics and Improvisation:
Experiencing music and poetry

A lecture/demonstration by Joseph and Ryoko Goguen

The qualitative feeling of experience is the most puzzling aspect of consciousness, and is often called "the hard problem" of consciousness. We argue that this is because philosophers have reified qualitative experience as qualia, defined to be what is left after all objective aspects have been removed from experience. An alternative approach gives priority to the experience of qualia, and explores properties through experiments with music and poetry, finding intersubjective agreement that qualia are hierarchical, contextual, embodied, and emergent. A theory of qualia, based on nonlinear dynamical systems and hierarchical information will be sketched, and illustrated with live performances and improvisations by Ryoko Goguen.