Monday, December 17, 2007
Collingwood on the Immeasurability of Feeling
Collingwood notes (I'm obviously having a 'Collingwood Week') that the problem with trying to quantify feelings is not just that we can't stick a ruler or scale in our minds, but is even worse: As you move along a range of feeling the feeling changes in kind, not just in degree. You can add four times the heat to a substance and measure four times the temperature (if you are starting your scale at absolute zero). But if at the first temperature you had a nice toasty feeling, at the second you won't have a feeling four times as nice and toasty -- you will have the agonizing feeling of being roasted alive. And if you halved the original temperature, you wouldn't get a nice, toasty feeling that was only half has intense as the one you had to start, you'd get an entirely different feeling of freezing. No reducing the amount of 'warm, toasty feeling' will ever arrive at the feeling of being cold.