Relationalism and the problems of consciousness

Recent attempts to show that functional processing entails the presence of phenomenal consciousness have failed to deliver the kind of answers to the “problems of consciousness” that anti-materialists insist the functionalist must provide. I will illustrate this by focusing on the claims that there is a special “Hard Problem” of consciousness and an “explanatory gap” between functional and phenomenal facts. I then argue that if we supplement the functionalist stories with a relationalist conception of phenomenal properties, we can begin to see the shape of a naturalistic theory of phenomenal consciousness that will provide intuitively compelling responses to these problems.
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