Big food for thought for a [Not a Philosopher] because while *almost everything* you say seems convincing, I have a strong feeling (might even call it an obvious intuition ;-p) that qualia are a Thing. Whether they're a Thing "out there" or (merely?) a property of how human (or my own?) mind/brain works I'm not sure. But they definitely feel like a Thing.

So here's my mostly-naive thinking on that:

*They seem to refer to the fact that almost all people I've encountered above certain age and iq (roughly equivalent to "capable of verbal communication") seem to experience (as evidenced by their verbal reports) internal mind states. And those internal mind states seem to be only fully accessible to them. We can communicate about them, and we can APPROXIMATELY agree on their greater or lesser similarity when describing them verbally, by referencing for example physiological states, and we can even empirically (behaviourally) observe that having similarly-labelled states leads to similar behaviours, but we cannot know -- and it feels like we have NO WAY of knowing -- that the internal state "feels" the same, apart from induction from biology (I have roughly the same brain crated by roughly the same DNA evolved in the same phylogenetic process, so it feels reasonable to assume that the "experience" will be also similar).*


As to examples: idk if they're as useless as you imply. People (at least "ordinary people") ordinarily think in natural concepts, which have a prototypical structure, so defining a concept by listing numerous exemplars with ratings of "how much of an X (being a bird, being qualia) a given item is" is likely to provide a pretty decent definition actually.

I'm mostly thinking aloud here though, so don't mind me: the fact that there's no way I can be sure that what's going on in my mind when I look at grass and agreen is the same as in yours (assuming you're not colour blind)

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Oops. Contd.

...when I look at grass and perceive it as green is the "same" as what's going on in yours (and in fact it's likely to be at least subtly -- but possibly hugely -- different because of subtly different neural architecture due to both genetics and life changes) seems obvious and enjoyably

Whether it's of any importance whatsoever or problematic in any way, I have no idea. My intuition (again!) is that it doesn't matter, because (cue: big "we are the same species" violin) there is likely enough similarity to make it all workable, and if there's less similarity and a need to agree frameworks arises, we will have behavioural (external, observable) pointers to such need.

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On second thoughts, maybe it DOES matter in some cases, chiefly when making moral judgements about permissibility of treating Different Minds (animals, but also arguably neonates, or people with dementia, etc) in ways that would be morally abhorrent towards "prototype humans".

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