DOI: 10.14704/nq.2005.3.1.58

What Would It “Be Like” to Solve the “Hard Problem.” Cognition, Consciousness, and Qualia-Zombies

Greg P. Hodes


David Chalmers argues that consciousness - authentic, first-person, conscious consciousness - cannot be reduced to brain events or to any physical event, and that efforts to find a workable mind-body identity theory are, therefore, doomed in principle. But for Chalmers and non-reductionist in general consciousness consists exclusively, or at least paradigmatically, of phenomenal or qualia-consciousness. This results in a seriously inadequate understanding both of consciousness and of the “hard problem.” I describe other, higher-order cognitional events which must be conscious if the “hard problem” is to be solved -- in any sense of ‘solve’ which would make us any the wiser about it -- but whose consciousness is quite different from the qualia and phenomena usually inventoried. Events of this kind are both part of the hard problem and the means by which we will solve it, if we ever do.


consciousness, hard problem, cognition, Chalmers, Lonergan

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