The meta-problem and the transfer of knowledge between theories of consciousness: a software engineer’s take

Abstract

This contribution examines two radically different explanations of our phenomenal intuitions, one reductive and one strongly non-reductive, and identifies two germane ideas that could benefit many other theories of consciousness. Firstly, the ability of sophisticated agent architectures with a purely physical implementation to support certain functional forms of qualia or proto-qualia appears to entail the possibility of machine consciousness with qualia, not only for reductive theories but also for the nonreductive ones that regard consciousness as ubiquitous in Nature. Secondly, analysis of introspective psychological material seems to hint that, under the threshold of our ordinary waking awareness, there exist further ‘submerged’ or ‘subliminal’ layers of consciousness which constitute a hidden foundation and support and another source of our phenomenal intuitions. These ‘submerged’ layers might help explain certain puzzling phenomena concerning subliminal perception, such as the apparently ‘unconscious’ multisensory integration and learning of subliminal stimuli.

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Marcel Kvassay
Slovak Academy of Sciences

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References found in this work

Facing up to the problem of consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem.David Chalmers - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge. pp. 353-373.
Facing up to the problem of consciousness.D. J. Chalmers - 1996 - Toward a Science of Consciousness:5-28.
Past, Space, and Self.R. M. De Gaynesford - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (179):243-245.

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