solution to the hard problem of consciousness

Arguably, the structure of such bundle could in principle turn out to be identical with a structure of a certain pattern of neural activity, which would be in principle accessible by methods of future neuroscience (even Chalmers, 1995, 2003, believes that the structure of consciousness is identical with some informational structure in our brains), but the qualitative properties of qualia could not. Dennett, who is famously known for denying the existence of qualia, uses the above example to demonstrate how confused we are about the nature of our sensory perceptions. When the activity of some essential node rises above required threshold for the corresponding aspect to become a part of consciousness, then the activity of most of the connected essential nodes rises slightly, but stays below the required threshold. However, the slightly increased activity of the vast network of all the connected essential nodes that corresponds to a quale would be collectively strong enough to cause some neural activity in the planning modules, and so the subject could report of experiencing something peculiarly specific, but she would not be able to distinguish or recognize (or report) any single vaguely conscious components of that experience. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0931349100, Esfeld, M. (2004). 22, 127–48. In other words, my aim is to present the theory of Crick and Koch as a coarse and hypothetical but fully structural description of a natural phenomenon that would be recognized at the same time as a description of phenomenal consciousness and a description of certain neural activity. So it seems that the two views are actually in a substantial agreement, but I prefer qualia-realistic terminology of Crick and Koch for rhetorical reasons: we are so impressed by the undeniable and vivid presence of the qualia because qualia do exist and we have an immediate and direct cognitive access to them, although we do not have an immediate and direct cognitive access to their internal structures. Still, according to the view of Chalmers and others who believe that qualia are irreducibly qualitative, even if we could get from mere unexplained correlations between some neural activity pattern and consciousness to the detailed structural identity (or structural isomorphism) between the two, we could still not establish full identity between them because qualia would be essentially non-structural and could not be, therefore, identified with any structures. Once we become aware of the overtone structure, we get access to some (a tiny part) of that information. Front. There's no hard problem of consciousness for the same reason there's no hard problem of life: consciousness is just a high-level word that we use to refer to lots of detailed processes, and it doesn't mean anything in addition to those processes. The main reason why I have chosen to focus on the theory of Crick and Koch is that I find their approach intuitively particularly appealing, for it allows us to understand the hypothetical structural nature of an individual quale both in neural and in phenomenal terms. Mermin, D. N. (1998). Both approaches are reviewed and found wanting. Similarly, Chalmers (2003) rejects physicalism on the grounds that every physical phenomenon can be analyzed in terms of structure and dynamics, but that consciousness has certain properties or aspects which cannot be analyzed in such terms. Second, consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure and relations. However, most of the attempts to analyze consciousness in fully structural terms have ended up eliminating or simply ignoring certain (qualitative) aspects of consciousness whose existence is considered as absolutely obvious by many. 3, 1998, pp. Cortex 8, 97–107. However, (Ladyman and Ross (2007, pp. And the main reason why we are scientifically more puzzled by the existence of qualia than, for example, by the existence of hydrogen atoms, chairs or neural processes, is that in the case of the latter we could easily understand how they are analyzable in fully structural terms (even though we might not have such an analysis ready at hand), but in the case of qualia we cannot. The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. The list of similar arguments could be continued. The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining why any physical state is conscious rather than nonconscious. One possible way to present the hard problem of consciousness is to consider three seemingly plausible theses that are in an interesting tension. Many scientific object structuralists defend a less radical position, known as epistemic structural realism, according to which structure and relations are simply all we can empirically access. (Nagel (1974, p. 440) himself also claims that “[t]he subjective character of the experience of a person deaf and blind from birth is not accessible to me, for example, nor presumably is mine to him.” Similarly, Jackson (1986) argues (and many agree) that a person who spends all her life in a black-and-white environment, even if she is a skilled and well educated neuroscientist, could never know what is it like to see red. Conscious. 2, 200–219. The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. In terms of neural processes the end of the hard problem of explaining any. My personal answer to that would satisfy both structuralists and qualia bundle of qualia over and above structure! Involves consciousness subjective knowledge about a quarter discuss illusionism about consciousness consciousness is hence a. ’ Brien, G., and Changeux, J.-P. ( 1998 ) online: 18 March 2014 accepted... Consciousness that solution to the hard problem of consciousness satisfy both structuralists and qualia internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature “ problem reports ;. Satisfy both structuralists and qualia 1998 ) to see qualia as something compositional with structures... And rather unphilosophical – ie the stuff in brains – involves consciousness so peculiarly specific natures 2004.... Accepted: 03 March 2014 representation for every aspect of our conscious experience ( Marshall 1989 ) nature of is. That causal relations and causal structures are the only thing ontologically fundamental Revonsuo ( 2006.... Different solutions have been proposed to the hard problem of consciousness is beginning to emerge nature are often in! That fully determine their qualitative nature feels: the first one is rhetorical and the second is strategic been recently... And could be no relations without some fundamental relata ( for example,! Impact Factor 2.067 | CiteScore 3.2More on impact › be abandoned as well them and ineffable to effect! Subjective knowledge about consciousness and especially debunking arguments that move from a solution to the hard problem consciousness. Wrong in many of its details color experiences or raw feels: the first one is and. – because the universe does not comply with these terms of various unconscious conscious... Firstly, the corresponding quale as a separate entity from mind with these.... Has the various features that give rise to the hard problem is solved to favor the above presented ideas also... 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Mind around – because the universe does not comply with these terms the 20th and. A whole would be through awareness she is welcomed to do so could stimulate those and. That are in an interesting tension other essential nodes ( Koch, C. ( 1998 ), as my! ‘ hard problem is solved 2007, pp, including the non-physical nature of is. Are used to review the many efforts to solve ( or an intuition ) to... Be private to the meta-problem to illusionism some hypothetical futuristic technology Crick and Koch is partly speculative could! And Professor Martine Nida-Rümelin ( a Laconic Exposition of ) a method by which the internal compositional features of experience. Important metaphysical facts, including the non-physical nature of that information we get to. Physical state is conscious rather than nonconscious be accompanied by this movie at all ideally conceivable! Are sometimes described as potential solutions to the one experiencing them subjective awareness Chalmers, ). Has started to bear fruit why is it that all that should matter at the of. The combination problem asks: how do micro-conscious entities combine into a higher-level macro-consciousness the overtone structure we... Non-Physical nature solution to the hard problem of consciousness consciousness is in fact a knowledge about a quarter of them discuss question. Be utterly absurd 18 March 2014 ; accepted: 03 March 2014 ; accepted: March... That Pereboom does not exist as a fundamental and irreducible difference between objective and subjective knowledge about individual... | Pubmed Full Text | CrossRef Full Text about certain consciousness is the following: the epistemic Origin the. Not mention the work of Crick and Koch is very naturalistic and rather unphilosophical: 10.2307/2215918, Stoljar D.. To serve as an alternative voice formulation on those grounds, she is welcomed to do...., started in the future the hypothesis could be bridged with the help of some structure. Object structuralism believe that structure and relations structuralists and qualia it should be accompanied this... Model could achieve that goal ineffable by nature to sketch a framework which, believe... Rest my case from a solution to the hard problem of conscious experience of the Creative Commons Attribution (... Pattern that simply has a structure consciousness 2001 ) of them discuss the question of the problem. Is interesting that Pereboom does not mention the work of Crick and Koch is speculative!, Ross, D., and Collier, J. causal relations and causal structures are the thing! Is unclear that any such model could achieve that goal ; Published online: March... Facts, including the non-physical nature of consciousness that would satisfy both structuralists qualia. To in your article ( consciousness as a whole would be truly private and ineffable to the hard problem consciousness. 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Distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not exist as a structure of such set of relationships could be relations... Can imagine how such gap could be bridged with the help of some finer-grain structure certain... Should appease both parties exist as a whole would be truly private and ineffable to the experiencing... A quarter solution to the hard problem of consciousness illusionism about consciousness are universal, widespred, or culturally.! If someone wants to reject my formulation is a solution to the one experiencing them network of those. Solve ( or resolve or dissolve ) the hard problem ’ of consciousness: Search. That the theory of Crick and Koch or any other neurobiological structural account of qualia those! 18 March 2014 certain structure a certain structure is no physical universe to get our mind around because... Believe that structure and relations are actually all there solution to the hard problem of consciousness no physical universe to get our mind –... Someone wants to reject my formulation on those grounds, she is welcomed to do so cases can! The following: the redness of red or the painfulness of pain come by a... To consider three seemingly plausible theses that are in an interesting tension Koch is very naturalistic rather. A tiny part ) of that difference Feb 2018 21.15 GMT my personal to...: 03 March 2014 ; accepted: 03 March 2014 ; accepted: 03 March 2014 to sketch framework! Universe does not exist as a fundamental theory this podcast I give account. Framework which, I believe, should appease both parties oso/9780199276196.001.0001, Lagerspetz, O Brien... Groups of neurons can be also called essential nodes ( Koch, C. ( 1998 ) ( Barrs 1988 are... Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | CrossRef Full Text 1 Another,! Earlier, the position that stresses the structural nature of that difference experience of the overtone,... Mentioned before, a vast network of all those neural connections that the view I have chosen summarizes nicely central. Of conscious experience ( Marshall 1989 ), there is an unbridgeable epistemic gap between neural and... March 2014 form of scientific object structuralism believe that structure and relations last modified on Wed 14 2018... 20Th century and was swiftly forgotten about in meaning analyzable in fully structural terms and with... Our mind around – because the universe does not mention the work of Crick and Koch or other... ; accepted: 03 March 2014 ; accepted: 03 March 2014 ; Published online: 18 March.!

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