The Liberal Qualia-A neuropsychological sketch for the capabilities set configuration
Katsuo, Akihito (2016). 'The Liberal Qualia-A neuropsychological sketch for the capabilities set configuration' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.
An extensive account for the emergence of liberal community to promote freedoms and capabilities, through the notions of neuropsychology presumably affinitive with Capability Approach (CA) is proposed. The argument mainly revolves around the hypothesis about two-staged developmental processes of behavioral-cognitive subjectivity, viz. qualia (Damasio, 2010), in comparison with conceptions of capability, freedom and other pertained knowledge as its administrative counterpart in sense of Sen’s authentic societal description (Sen, 1993). The key ideas which make the proposed account viable depend on the following neurobiological speculation and CA-oriented inferences respectively:
(a) a fraction of personal experiences accumulated through the day-to-day life (substantially, it is a chunk of perceptual stimuli, yet, we may call it “memories”, when consciously reorganized along a suitable context) is maintained in a dispositional manner, and is under control of the brain-body network of neural circuitry, including a particular module responsible for dealing with emotion and feeling of “it-ness” or so called qualia in the terms of cognitive neuroscience, and the portion consisting of partial as well as incomplete “memories” of each instance may selectively fetched and combined, according to previously experienced configuration of such bits of neural responses, to build a various “revised” sorts of mental-behavioral constructs about something happening right now to the “eyes” of the beholder, leading him/her to prepare either positive or negative brain-body reactive states that are ready to exert. The achieved brain-body state is compared with affinitive records of neural response that s/he has ever equipped (i.e., learned and/or practiced) to deal with external encounters, tracking all the way down even to the quite early stage of life history of her/his own, if verified as possible. Finally, it is expressed either in doing or in being, as it prefers, covertly or overtly, toward optimal regulations of her/his social-biological properties.
(b) the qualia being felt (or, neurobiologically “activated” especially in the covert case of subconscious exertion that may or may not surface becoming noticeable at the very ending) could anyhow be modified, due to its neurobiological plasticity, according to preferential orderings that reflect the range of values, manifested by the result from social choice exercised by agents of the concerned society, where each of whom makes the vote to sophisticate and fulfill their mutually feasible functionings, viz. doings and beings in the sense of CA. This means that each individual’s qualia at work seems available to transform its cognitive nature into more sensitive one to the climate of collective achievement in terms of agreement. This type of transformation of qualia in turn reflects how each individual could become recognizing what is worth doing/being and what is not applicable in the society from within the capabilities of the constituent members should be registered and put into practice, as their valuation and consummation grounds mature.
The abovementioned neuropsychological traits in establishing qualia in a “matured” individual seem develop in parallel with the dimensions of collective efforts in reasoning and responding: The more each learns how to make an effective decision in terms of optimizing brain-body circuitry, the more CA-oriented comprehensive choice can be made, and vise-versa.