Where is the line drawn for what constitutes “what it’s like to be” something? What it’s like to see red seems the obvious example of a what-it’s-like phenomena. But what about knowing a language or having a particular culture? Is there what-it’s-likeness in knowling a language beyond the veridical aspects, such as directly perceiving words by hearing or sight?


2 Responses to Language

  1. Enigman says:

    What it’s like to see red? Do you mean what it’s like to be angry? There are lots of ways to be angry, and I’m not sure where anger begins and irritation ends. Same with the colour red, and orange… Similarly, there may be lots of ways to know a language. What it’s like for you to know English may well be different to what it’s like for me to know English. But what is it like for me to know English? It is like this. What is it like to see red? Gazing into the colour, the redness of a ripe tomato is not like gazing into the same redness in a ‘Stop!’ sign…

  2. A.G. says:


    I’m just going to do a new post to respond to you since I haven’t done one for a while.

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