There are no easy problems of consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):266-71 (1995)
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This paper challenges David Chalmers' proposed division of the problems of consciousness into the `easy' ones and the `hard' one, the former allegedly being susceptible to explanation in terms of computational or neural mechanisms and the latter supposedly turning on the fact that experiential `qualia' resist any sort of functional definition. Such a division, it is argued, rests upon a misrepresention of the nature of human cognition and experience and their intimate interrelationship, thereby neglecting a vitally important insight of Kant. From a Kantian perspective, our capacity for conceptual thought is so inextricably bound up with our capacity for phenomenal consciousness that it is an illusion to imagine that there are any `easy' problems of consciousness, resolvable within the computational or neural paradigms



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Author's Profile

E. J. Lowe
PhD: Oxford University; Last affiliation: Durham University

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