Hard problem of consciousness not so hard?
|September 3, 2013||Posted by News under Mind, Neuroscience, News|
A special issue of the Springer philosophy review journal Topoi proposes to address this problem and there is a call for papers (February 28 2014):
Much work in the philosophy of consciousness begins with the premise that consciousness offers a uniquely Hard Problem. This premise can lead to radical speculative metaphysics such as pan-protopsychism (Chalmers) or epiphenomenal property dualism (early Jackson). It can also be used by researchers to justify ignoring advances in consciousness studies from other disciplines. However, not everyone agrees that consciousness poses a Hard Problem and instead offer explanations of consciousness in general (Clark, Dennett, Irvine, O’Brien and Opie, Prinz) or particular conscious experiences (G.Carruthers, de Vignemont, Frith and Hohwy).
Given that the existence of a Hard Problem is controversial and that it is supposed to lead to radical metaphysical conclusions we would expect that advocates of the existence of a Hard Problem would have considerable arguments in favour of their view. Often, however, the nature of problem is treated as self-evident and not argued for, despite the controversy. In this issue we wish to ask what arguments, if any, can be put forward that consciousness really does pose a uniquely hard problem and how they fare in the face of conceptual and empirical scrutiny.
Additionally work in developing theories of consciousness has led to a proliferation of hypotheses regarding the nature of consciousness…
Will we now be told that the problem is not difficult, but that no solution works at present?
The true difficulty here is that mechanist materialism requires that the solution be of a certain sort—a reduction of the mind to the activities of neurons as such. Such a solution will not likely ever be found. In just such a way, for centuries, people sought to square a circle, not understanding the nature of the problem, until someone demonstrated that the solution they were seeking was not possible, given the relationships between types of numbers.
Advances will more likely be made by recognizing the bran as a quantum system. See, for example, “Free will creates quantum physics, and not the other way around.”
If you have philosophy skills or credentials, you could try submitting a paper.