Facing up to the problem of consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19 (1995)
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Abstract

To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the door to further progress is opened. In the second half of the paper, I argue that if we move to a new kind of nonreductive explanation, a naturalistic account of consciousness can be given. I put forward my own candidate for such an account: a nonreductive theory based on principles of structural coherence and organizational invariance, and a double-aspect theory of information

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David Chalmers
New York University

Citations of this work

Consciousness and its place in nature.David Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
Grounding: necessary or contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
Panpsychism.William E. Seager, Philip Goff & Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Minds, brains, and programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

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