Алексей Каптерев (kapterev) wrote,
Алексей Каптерев

The hard problem

The peculiar position of attempting an objective, scientific description of subjective conscious events continues to be the source of much confusion. Various authors have proposed an ‘explanatory gap’ between scientific theory and subjective experience (Block & Stalnaker 1999; Levine 1983; Rowlands 2001). Sometimes this is referred to as the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, to be distinguished from the ‘easy problem’ of describing exactly how the brain functions, during both conscious and unconscious states (Chalmers 1995).

Edelman suggests that this reflects a misunderstanding of science, saying: “A scientific theory cannot presume to replicate the experience that it describes or explains … to experience the discriminations of an individual, it is necessary to be that individual” (Edelman 2003). In other words, coming up with a scientific theory that explicitly solved the ‘hard problem’ would be like developing a theory of hurricanes that was actually windy.

— Anil K. Seth and Bernard J. Baars, "Neural Darwinism and Consciousness"

Could it be the Holiest of the Grails?
Tags: english, personal development
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