The Hard Problem Isn’t Getting any Easier: Thoughts on Chalmers’ “Meta-Problem”

Philosophia 49:495-506 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Chalmers’ meta-problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining “problem reports”; i.e. reports to the effect that phenomenal consciousness has the various features that give rise to the hard problem. Chalmers suggests that solving the meta-problem will likely “shed significant light on the hard problem.” Against this, I argue that work on the meta-problem will likely fail to make the hard problem any easier. For each of the main stances on the hard problem can provide an account of problem reports, and we have no way of deciding which of these accounts gives the correct explanation of an individual’s problem reports without presupposing a stance on the hard problem. We thus cannot determine which of the available solutions to the meta-problem is correct without having already solved the hard problem.

Similar books and articles

Disillusioned.Katalin Balog - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):38-53.
Two Caveats to the Meta-Problem Challenge.Asger Kirkeby-Hinrup - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):74-81.
Consciousness and Coincidence: The Puzzle of Psychophysical Harmony.Adam Pautz - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (5-6):143-155.
Review of David J. Chalmers, Constructing the World.Thomas W. Polger - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):419-423.
Giving up on the hard problem of consciousness.Eugene Mills - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):26-32.
On Chalmers on the Meta-Problem.Haoying Liu - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):91-98.
Giving up on the hard problem of consciousness. E. Mills - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):26-32.
What hard problem?Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Philosophy Now (99).
The Phenomenal Powers View and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):131-142.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-05-23

Downloads
374 (#54,570)

6 months
124 (#32,335)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ben White
Oakland University

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.
Thinking About Consciousness.David Papineau - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

View all 32 references / Add more references