Why the `Hard Problem' is Hard

Abstract
I take the `hard problem' of consciousness to be to understand the relation between our subjective experience and the brain processes that cause it; that is, to reconcile our everyday feeling of consciousness with the scienti c worldview (MacLennan, 1995). This problem is hard because consciousness has unique epistemological characteristics, which must be accommodated by any attempted solution. I will summarize these characteristics; more detail can be found in Searle (1992, chs. 4, 5) and Chalmers (1995, 1996), whose positions, if I have understood them correctly, are consistent with mine. 1 First, science is a public enterprise; it attains knowledge that is independent of the individual investigator by limiting itself to public phenomena. Ultimately it is grounded in shared experiences, for example, when we both look at a thermometer and read the same temperature. Traditionally science has accomplished its ends by focusing on the more public, objective aspects of phenomena (e.g. temperature as measured by a thermometer), and by ignoring the more private, subjective aspects (how warm it feels to me). In other words, science has restricted itself to facts about which it is easy to reach agreement among a consensus of trained observers. Although this restriction has aided scienti c progress, it prevents the scienti c study of consciousness, which is essentially private and subjective. 2 Second, scienError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapError: Illegal entry in bfrange block in ToUnicode CMapce's neglect of the subjective is also apparent in its reductive methods..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,330
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

14 ( #109,355 of 1,096,587 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #258,571 of 1,096,587 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.