Regular people: What hard problem of consciousness?

The hard problem of consciousness, a term coined by philosopher David Chalmers, asks how physical systems can produce phenomenal consciousness.  Chalmers' term, coined in the 1990s, applied to an older problem that's been around for along time, the mind-body problem.  More recently, Chalmers noted his intuition that the hard problem is widely and intuitively held … Continue reading Regular people: What hard problem of consciousness?

David Chalmers on the meta-problem of consciousness

David Chalmers is famous as the philosopher who coined the hard problem of consciousness, the idea that how and why consciousness is produced from a physical system, how phenomenal experience arises from such a system, is an intractably difficult issue.  He contrasts the hard problem with what he calls "easy problems" such as discriminating between … Continue reading David Chalmers on the meta-problem of consciousness

The prospects for a scientific understanding of consciousness

Michael Shermer has an article up at Scientific American asking if science will ever understand consciousness, free will, or God. I contend that not only consciousness but also free will and God are mysterian problems—not because we are not yet smart enough to solve them but because they can never be solved, not even in … Continue reading The prospects for a scientific understanding of consciousness

A possible answer to the hard problem of consciousness: subjective experience is communication

In 1995, David Chalmers coined the "hard problem of consciousness": It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory … Continue reading A possible answer to the hard problem of consciousness: subjective experience is communication

Why I think we will eventually have a scientific understanding of consciousness

It's a common sentiment, even among many staunch materialists, that we will never understand consciousness.  It's one I held to some degree until a few years ago.  But the more I've read about neuroscience, the more convinced I've become that we will eventually understand it, at least at an objective level. That's actually an important distinction to make … Continue reading Why I think we will eventually have a scientific understanding of consciousness

David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?

In this TED talk, David Chalmers gives a summary of the problem whose name he coined, the hard problem of consciousness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhRhtFFhNzQ via David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness? - YouTube. It seems like people who've contemplated consciousness fall into two groups, those who are bothered by the hard problem, and those who are not. … Continue reading David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?