Introduction: The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Topoi 36 (1):1-3 (2017)

Authors
Glenn Carruthers
Charles Sturt University
Elizabeth Schier
Charles Sturt University
Abstract
In this paper we try to diagnose one reason why the debate regarding the Hard Problem of consciousness inevitably leads to a stalemate: namely that the characterisation of consciousness assumed by the Hard Problem is unjustified and probably unjustifiable. Following Dennett : 4–6, 1996, Cognition 79:221–237, 2001, J Conscious Stud 19:86, 2012) and Churchland :402–408, 1996, Brainwise: studies in neurophilosophy. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2002), we argue that there is in fact no non-question begging argument for the claim that consciousness is a uniquely Hard Phenomenon. That is; there is no non-question begging argument for the claim that consciousness is necessarily in explicable in terms of the structure and function of mental states. Unfortunately the debate has not moved on because the majority of materialists feel the pull of the at least one of, what we call, the ‘key’ intuitions that supposedly support dualism and the existence of a Hard Phenomenon and so try to accommodate them rather than denying them. Although this a possible response to the intuitions it tends to mask the fact that there is in fact no argument for the existence of a Hard Phenomenon. So we end up participating in our own hornswoggling :402–408, 1996) and chasing our tails trying to answer a question we should in fact ignore. We have no reason to think there is a Hard Problem of consciousness because we have no reason to think the Hard Phenomenon exists.
Keywords Consciousness  Hard Problem  Hornswoggle
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-017-9459-7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Four Conceptions of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Jonathan Eric Dorsey - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10):129-44.
Giving Up on the Hard Problem of Consciousness. E. Mills - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):26-32.
Giving Up on the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Eugene Mills - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):26-32.
There is No Hard Problem of Consciousness.Kieron O'Hara & Tom Scutt - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (4):290-302.
A Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness?William S. Robinson - 1999 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 5.
On The Infinitely Hard Problem Of Consciousness.Bernard Molyneux - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):211 - 228.
The Philosophical Issue in Machine Consciousness.Piotr Boltuc - 2009 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1 (1):155-176.
Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - forthcoming - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, and Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar. New York, USA: Routledge.
Review of David J. Chalmers, Constructing the World.Thomas W. Polger - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):419-423.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-08-06

Total views
313 ( #17,927 of 2,259,406 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #18,288 of 2,259,406 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature