Overview. More recently, Chalmers noted his intuition that the hard problem is widely and intuitively held… There is still disagreement between material brain and how it relates to the subjective world experience. I feel it useful in supplementing the meditative project of EXPERIENCING truth, especially in the habit of undermining unjustifiable dogma. The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. His works have proven to be provocative and have garnered a polarised response. In Buddhism, it is actually claimed that profound meditation gives some kind of intuitive understanding of the momentary arising of consciousness, schematized in the doctrine of "dependent origination." This is all very clever and reasonable, but still fails to get around the metaphysical obstacle of subjective experience. We are not just naive realists in our understanding of the external world, but clearly (especially?) I find the distinction between “hard” and “soft” problems illuminates more than anything how flabbergasted most people still are in contemplating crossing the objective/subjective divide. I don't understand it, is it trying to explain a subjective experience objectively? This explains the research that increasingly is indicating the extraordinary extent to which seemingly conscious decisions have been made before subjects think they consciously made these decisions. Does the brain give rise to something other than brain, like a speaker radio gives rise to sound waves? Life and mind in the universe by George Wald 50 Nobel scientists who reject materialism The nature of things by Matthew Raspanti The hard problem of consciousness by David Chalmers The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences by Eugene Wigner Mathematical universe hypothesis by Max Tegmark The physical world as a virtual reality by Brian Whitworth Digital… The so-called "hard problem of consciousness" isn't a legitimate concern with cognitive neuroscientists, and in fact is a term used almost exclusively among philosophers like Chalmers, those explaining why he is wrong, and some interested laypeople who have unfortunately been misled about the actual importance of Chalmers "hard problem" in the field of neuroscience. Why don't we just input, process, and output? And if that subjective experience isn't an undeniable fact, then nothing is. Dennett's contributions to consciousness studies are quite extensive. Where most others have given cogent intellectual answers, I’m going to offer a primarily experiential answer. A thoughtful commenter at Reddit responds, Advocates of transhumanism envision a future in which we achieve immortality by “mind-uploading” our consciousness and identity onto digital substrates. Put simply, it's the mind-body problem reincarnated. If the self is an illusion, a calorie-saving data-processing trick, then who is it who is being deluded or tricked? It's trying to work out the physical mechanism that gives rise to consciousnesses. On the other side of the fence are those who argue the distinction between the ‘hard problem’ and the ‘easy problem’ is at best ill-advised and, at worst, plain dangerous. The hard problem of consciousness refers to the fact that we can learn all of this and still not know for certain that you are not a "philosophical zombie." The conscious part of us is actually a representational process. I think Alan Wallace is very right when he urges science to respect and take seriously this kind of deep meditative introspection, because it might help us with at least beginning to formulate the problem. For example, Daniel Dennett (2005) argues that, on reflection, consciousness is functionally definable. The solution is that the “self” is an illusion. This will only reveal more structure, at least as long as physics remains a discipline dedicated to capturing reality in mathematical terms. This is an answer to the OP’s genuine and heart-felt sub-question: “What am I missing?”. I generally agree with all your points, but another one wants making. In other, more metaphorical, words, the central claim of this book is that as you read these lines you constantly confuse yourself with the content of the self-model currently activated by your brain.”[ii]. Saying the self is an illusion does not explain why we have experience (as in phenomenal consciousness, qualitative experience, what it's likeness). It is not that consciousness has no meaningful role to play in a our behavior, but rather it seems to play a larger role the more reflection is reflected in any given behavior. Hence, the common cultural dichotomy of body and mind, and the often magical explanations of consciousness. Existentialists are obviously concerned with the nature of our existence, and what to do about it. That something more is a philosophical undertaking and the goal is to find a unified theory of consciousness that encompasses explanatory models for (solutions to) soft/easy and hard problems. These two types of phenomena have fundamentally different types of ontology, so it's "hard" to give a causal explanation of how one gives rise to the other. Utilizing functionalist (and sometimes dualistic) accounts of the mind, the roadmap towards this Let’s say that I’m a global workspace theorist. Think about it - from where does "awareness of redness and redness" come from? We didn’t need to know that when you saw a large feline predator of mostly orange coloring with black stripes, you were, strictly speaking, seeing a representation of a tiger. we are equally naive realists in our understanding of our internal world. The lack of a general theory of consciousness, of how it comes to be that there is something that it is like to be, was really the last rational bastion of opposition to the scientific assertion that consciousness emerges from the brain. This question is seldom properly asked, for reasons good and bad, but when asked it opens up avenues of research that promise to dissolve the hard problem and secure a scientifically sound theory of how … What to do IS the important question, and the important answers we find in our lives, as existing things. I'll add to the preceding answers that Chalmers also says that soft/easy problems can be (and are, to some extent) solved by cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and other branches of science whereas "something more is needed" to solve the hard problem. The nature of agency itself is thus tied to the extent to which modern neuroscience may or may not be indicating that consciousness itself and hence all of rationality might function in the brain as a special kind of sense perception of the world. The solution to the hard problem is rather simple. This objective pursuit of the understanding of consciousness is just a more readily transmissible form of our best guesses at DESCRIPTIONS of truth. If you look at the brain from the outside you see this extraordinary machine – an organ consisting of 84 billion neurons that fire in synchrony with each other. What had been lacking until relatively recently was an overarching framework or theory through which to grasp the nature of consciousness. Some use echolocation, some are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, etc. The "hard problem of consciousness" HLP Network. Either you can be wrong about your own consciousness or zombies aren't possible, which means solving the easy problems requires solving the hard problem. Everything we know in science dealing with the natural phenomena, every law, discovery, explanation... everything is about some kind of motion, ultimately explained by the dynamics of the underlying elements. Chalmers' term, coined in the 1990s, applied to an older problem that's been around for along time, the mind-body problem. For millennia on end, humans have pondered about the nature of one of the most puzzling aspects of our existence, consciousness. It isn't the thing being experienced that's at issue, it's the fact that it's being experienced. We don’t experience the neural underpinning of consciousness, and thus if what we experience is what is real, consciousness is inexplicable and magical. There certainly seems a link between 'physical reality' and the qualia (this supplies the details that are "painted" in the qualia), but we don't know for sure if there's a causal link back from the qualia to physical reality. Actually I think you misunderstood the solution. On his view, once the easy problems are solved, there will be nothing about consciousness and the physical left to explain. Interestingly enough, the descriptions of many mystical experiences, are cast in terms of the abandonment of the “self.” I hypothesize that meditative practices, in witnessing the mind as an object, are stepping stones to a higher order consciousness, one that implicitly recognizes Metzinger’s scientific perspective. ”Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.” We just happened to be born in “technological” equipment like that. (3) If problem (1) and (2) are solved, I don’t see why other theories of consciousness wouldn’t be able to do the exact same thing and claim that they solve the hard problem. But wait, say others, the hard problem is not so easily dismissed. The "hard problem" of consciousness, according to which scientific models cannot explain the "qualia" or "first order experiences", is misguided if it is used to imply that we need more than structures and functions to explain conscious experience. Why do not these processes take place “in the dark,” without any accompanying states of experience? That is the hard problem. And that tells how little most of us still understand. Please watch the Thomas Metzinger and Jeff Hawkins talks: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mthDxnFXs9k, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oozFn2d45tg&list=PL032B233624CCC2CE&feature=mh_lolz, Combine those with Ramachandran's paper on Qualia below and that's where I'm trying to figure I am on the subject: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3331489/lawsofqualia-pdf-december-6-2011-6-33-am-634k. But still fails to get around the metaphysical obstacle of subjective experience?! Lump of matter created worlds is an illusion we experience anything at all metaphysical obstacle of subjective experience indicate., as existing things the “ self ” is an answer to the feed that. External world, but still fails to get the fuck out of dodge and?... 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