David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 11 (2):145-152 (1999)
Any time you have philosophers working on a problem, you know you’ve got troubles. If a question has attracted the attention of the philosophers that means that either it is intractably difficult with convolutions and labyrinthine difficulties that would make other researchers blanch, or that it is just flat out impossible to solve. Impossible problems masquerade as intractable problems until someone either proves the problem is impossible (which can only happen in mathematics), or someone shows all solutions to the problem violate laws of physics (like the perpetual motion machine, for example), or until enough people fail so that declaring defeat is a reasonable move. The problem of consciousness is prototypical of this latter case. Indeed, one might say that it is the Platonic ideal of such a problem. The mere fact that philosophers wrestle with the problem of consciousness should be regarded by psychologists of all stripes as extremely bad news. If the philosophers can’t make any headway, psychologists are doomed
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