This plural noun is much more than a vowel dump¹.


It’s a word

useful in understanding

2 different kinds

of reality.

[For a bit MORE use the DOOR.]


This computer under my fingertips exists whether I am in the room or not. Most people, even deep thinkers, agree about this.

However, the reality of some things is more iffy…

Take for example,

feelings of wetness,

perceptions of color, and

sounds of sonority².

These things do not exist in the absence of minds! Such things are called qualia³. Nothing has a “wet feeling”; no light has a color that’s “red,” ” orange,”  or “green”; no sound is “rich” or “deep” without a mind to determine that it is.

My computer exists.

If a drop of glue falls on my “e” key, it is never “sticky” unless my finger falls upon it.

ENOUGH!  (The N through H keys are just fine!)


¹ In Scrabble a “vowel dump” is a word that helps get rid of excess vowels on your rack.

² “Sonority” is the noun form of “sonorous,” the adjective that refers to a sound that is imposingly deep and full [“the alloy is sonorous and useful in making bells” or “the sonorous words of condemnation.” (OED)

³ A. J. Ayers, who wrote Language, Truth, and Logic (Penguin, 1936), and, incidentally, later in life gave up his then widely accepted views called “Logical Positivism,” would have called these phenomena “sense-data,” instead of “qualia,” but don’t worry about that…

Author: John Knapp