Authors
Abstract
For diverse reasons, the problem of phenomenal consciousness is persistently challenging. Mental terms are characteristically ambiguous, researchers have philosophical biases, secondary qualities are excluded from objective description, and philosophers love to argue. Adhering to a regime of efficient causes and third-person descriptions, science as it has been defined has no place for subjectivity or teleology. A solution to the “hard problem” of consciousness will require a radical approach: to take the point of view of the cognitive system itself. To facilitate this approach, a concept of agency is introduced along with a different understanding of intentionality. Following this approach reveals that the autopoietic cognitive system constructs phenomenality through acts of fiat, which underlie perceptual completion effects and “filling in”—and, by implication, phenomenology in general. It creates phenomenality much as we create meaning in language, through the use of symbols that it assigns meaning in the context of an embodied evolutionary history that is the source of valuation upon which meaning depends. Phenomenality is a virtual representation to itself by an executive agent (the conscious self) tasked with monitoring the state of the organism and its environment, planning future action, and coordinating various sub- agencies. Consciousness is not epiphenomenal, but serves a function for higher organisms that is distinct from that of unconscious processing. While a strictly scientific solution to the hard problem is not possible for a science that excludes the subjectivity it seeks to explain, there is hope to at least psychologically bridge the explanatory gulf between mind and matter, and perhaps hope for a broader definition of science.
Keywords hard problem  teleology  cognition  agency  intentionality  autopoiesis  phenomenality  filling in  embodiment  virtual reality
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Materialism and Qualia: The Explanatory Gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.
Consciousness and its Place in Nature.David J. Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
A Framework for Consciousness.Francis Crick & Christof Koch - 2003 - Nature Neuroscience 6:119-26.

View all 56 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is Consciousness?Norton Nelkin - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (3):419-34.
Orthogonality of Phenomenality and Content.Gottfried Vosgerau, Tobias Schlicht & Albert Newen - 2008 - American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (4):309 - 328.
How Many Kinds of Consciousness?David M. Rosenthal - 2002 - Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):653-665.
Intentionality and Phenomenality: A Phenomenological Take on the Hard Problem.Dan Zahavi - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 29:63-92.
Phenomenality and Self-Consciousness.Charles Siewert - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 235.
There is No Hard Problem of Consciousness.Kieron O'Hara & Tom Scutt - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (4):290-302.
Giving Up on the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Eugene Mills - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):26-32.
Not-Quite-So Radical Enactivism.D. Lloyd - 2016 - Constructivist Foundations 11 (2):361-363.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-03-21

Total views
323 ( #23,119 of 2,362,031 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
43 ( #16,820 of 2,362,031 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes