I am interested in the relationship between consciousness and static quality. I offer this not because I have settled on it as some sort of truth, but because it is interesting to consider. It is, of course, not presented in the language of Quality, but I find it something worth thinking about, none the less.
"Let us take, as an example, our apprehension of a small and simple object in nature such as an apple. We may see it, and identify its location in space relative to ourselves and any number of other objects, up to the rest of the known physical universe. We may also locate in time the moment of our seeing it relative to any number of other event, up to the whole history: 'My eye fell on the apple just as the clock struck one on the afternoon of the 16th February, AD 1982.' Using our sense of sight more concentratedly we can look closely at its color and texture. We can note its exact shape, measure its exact dimensions, weigh it. Bringing into play our sense of touch we can feel the weight in our hands, and the apple's degree of hardness, the degree of its coldness against our skin, the balance of its mass as we aim it as if for a throw. Using other senses still we can smell it, taste it, and listen to the different sounds it gives off when struck or touched by differe
nt sorts of objects. We can break it open and repeat all these operations on its innards, noting also new entities, such as pips, and other kinds of attribute such as consistency and moisture. We can make our description of the apple as full and detailed as we like, to the extent of giving exhaustive accounts of its biophysical structure and its biological constitution. But every single one of the operations I have listed is dependent on our having the particular perceiving apparatus we have, and yields its information in forms which cannot exist separately from that apparatus, namely in terms of visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory and aural data, and the concepts derived ultimately from these, and the operations with those concepts that constitute thought. These simply are no other ways in which we can experience contact with the apple, or form any conception of it. If we try a thought-experiement and attempt to 'think away' from the apple all these sense-dependent a
nd mind-dependent attributes which we associate with it, in order to arrive at what it 'really' is _in itself_ independently of our experiences of it, what we actually arrive at is indistinguishable from nothing at all. It might seem 'out there' beyond our sense-dependent experiences there must lie some entity which causes these experiences in us and which we differentiate in English by he word 'apple' from other entities which gives us other experiences; but what it is like independent of all actual and possible experiences is something of which we can form not the ghostliest conception. Our position with respect to that is the same as the congenitally blind man's with respect to vision. Inescapably, the whole world as we experience it is mediated through our sensory and mental apparatus. Consequently this world of our experience is not at all a world of things as they are in themselves but a world of sense-dependent and mind-dependent phenomena. To things as they are
in themselves we have simply no access.
"Up to this point Kant's argument may seem like a richer , more powerful and sophisticated version of Berkeley's. Certainly, he had more in common with Berkeley than he prepared to admit,even to himself. (Schopehauer regarded the second edition of _The Critique of Pure Reason_ as a mutilation of the first, perpetrated by Kant with the mistaken aim of emphasizing his difference from Berkeley.) However, from this point in the argument Kant moves on to consider the role which of our minds , as distinct from our senses, have to play in perception, and here his arguments become altogether more original and profound. As a small, straightforward instance of act of immediate perception than which it would be hard to pick anything simpler or more direct, let us take again the case of of simply looking at an apple. For me to have the experience I describe as 'seeing an apple' the following three conditions, at the very least, have to be satisfied: I must (1) be in receipt of s
ome visual datum; (2) be in possession of the concept denoted by the word 'apple'; (3) be able to categorize the visual datum as falling (or not falling) under the concept. Unless I can do at least these three things I cannot see an _apple_. But only the first is sensory, and only the first is solely a matter of immediate activity; the other two are mental, and depend on my bringing prior dispositions to bear on the sensory situation. It turns out, then, that even the simplest act of direct perception is by no means solely a matter of immediate experience but more mental than sensory, and involves a great contribution from my brain as as from the object seen. By this token there can be no such thing as _immediate experience_. We readily assume that, for me to see an apple, there has to be an apple. But --- equally necessary --- there have also to be those mental pre-conditions which make my having the experience [which I can identify as seeing an apple] possible. Some
of Kant's profoundest pages are devoted to an investigation of what these pre-conditions are. On reading them one feels he is opening up a whole floor beneath what had always been taken for the basement level in our analysis of experience: Locke had been led by his investigation of experience to consider pre-conditions, but Kant's investigation of those preconditions leads to consider _their_ preconditions.
"Kant goes on to point out ..."
(Magee, Bryan, 'The Philosophy of Schopenhauer, Hardcover', 1997, pp. 65-66)