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Subjective character of experience

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The subjective character of experience is a term in psychology and the philosophy of mind denoting that all subjective phenomena are associated with a single point of view ("ego"). The term was coined and illuminated by Thomas Nagel in his famous paper "What Is it Like to Be a Bat?"[1]

Nagel argues that, because bats are apparently conscious mammals with a way of perceiving their environment entirely different from that of human beings, it is impossible to speak of "what is it like to be a bat for the bat" or, while the example of the bat is particularly illustrative, any conscious species, as each organism has a unique point of view from which no other organism can gather experience.[citation needed] To Nagel, the subjective character of experience implies the cognitive closure of the human mind to some facts, specifically the mental states that physical states create.

See also[edit]


  • Michael, L.A. (2007). The Principles of Existence & Beyond: Revelation of Enigma of the Existence. Visual Memes. ISBN 978-1-84799-199-7. OCLC 749947766.
  • Song, D. Subjective Universe: Interweaving Matter and Mind through Cyclical Time. 2020
  1. ^ Nagel, Thomas (1974) What is It Like to Be a Bat? The Philosophical Review LXXXIII, 4 (October): 435–50.