How to solve the hard problem: A predictable inexplicability

Psyche 6 (4):5-20 (2000)
Abstract
Qualitative states are no threat to physicalism. They have a causal effect upon the world in virtue of their qualitative nature. This effect is exploited in biological mechanisms for representing the world. Representation requires differential responsiveness to different perceived properties of things. Qualia are taken to be tagged properties of internal representation models. These properties are properties for-the-organism. Such for-the-organism properties are to be expected in beings which perceive the world and interact with it intelligently. Consciousness presents a problem for science. Human beings are conscious of the world and of themselves. In so far as science has the ambition of explaining everything consciousness is another unexplained phenomenon. However some claim that it is distinctive and different in kind from other problems which science hopes to solve using methods which have been successful up until now. It may indeed be so different that we have to adopt a dualistic metaphysics and accept that there is more to the world than physics knows. In this paper I intend to outline how the physicalist should fight back.
Keywords Consciousness  Metaphysics  Mind-body  Nature  Diderot
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