Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

A quale is a single instance of what we call a subjective experience, the experience that is pointed to by phrases such as “seeing red,” “tasting coffee,” or “feeling sad.” The plural form of this word might be slightly more familiar to some people: qualia.

“Qualia” is an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things