Three philosophical problems about consciousness and their possible resolution

Abstract
Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved (in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution). Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is solved by recognizing that (a) there is an explanation as to why science cannot explain consciousness, and (b) consciousness can be explained by a different kind of explanation, empathic or “personalistic” explanation, compatible with, but not reducible to, scientific explanation. The third problem is solved by exploiting David Chalmers“principle of structural coherence”, and involves postulating that sensations experienced by us–visual, auditory, tactile, and so on–amount to minute scattered regions in a vast, multi dimensional “space” of all possible sensations, which vary smoothly, and in a linear way, throughout the space. There is also the space of all possible sentient brain processes. There is just one, unique one-one mapping between these two spaces that preserves continuity and linearity. It is this which provides the explanation as to why brain processes and sensations are correlated as they are. I consider objections to this unique-matching theory, and consider how the theory might be empirically confirmed.
Keywords Consciousness  Mind/Body Problem  Explanatory Gap
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4236/ojpp.2011.11001
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
References found in this work BETA
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications.David Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.
Consciousness Explained.William G. Lycan & Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):424.
Physics and Common Sense.Nicholas Maxwell - 1965 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (February):295-311.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mathematical Platonism and the Nature of Infinity.Gilbert B. Côté - 2013 - Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):372-375.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
The Easy Problems Ain't so Easy.David Hodgson - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):69-75.
The Character of Consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
An Ideal Solution to the Problems of Consciousness.Daniel D. Hutto - 1998 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (3):328-43.
Evolutionary Explanation and the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Steven Horst - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (1):39-48.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

320 ( #9,174 of 2,170,012 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #82,217 of 2,170,012 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums