In philosophy of mind, the hard problem of consciousness is to explain why and how humans and other organisms have qualia, phenomenal consciousness, or subjective experiences."
"the hard problem argue that it is categorically different from the easy problems since no mechanistic or behavioral explanation could explain the character of an experience, not even in principle. "
Given the advances of the past years, this seem more and more contrived. An example of humans expecting nature to prove itself to us on our own terms. It’s quite hubristic.
After spending years, heck decades chewing on why Chalmer’s Hard Problem felt like fingernails ripping down a chalk board,
I’ve come to recognize Chalmer’s Abrahamic roots, via the proud millennia old heritage of philosophers grappling with the Being of God.
A mental landscape that contains an unrecognized undercurrent assumption of human uniqueness and Earth being bestowed upon us, for our utility.
A philosophical heritage where Earth and her other creatures are barely acknowledged, because, of course, it’s all about us.
Even though every shred of scientific evidence points at Earth being the womb and bosom of humanity. (There’s a big difference between a postcard and “being there”)
What Chalmers is demanded is that science answer the question of space between God’s finger and Adam’s finger. And that’s where he’s going to find his answer in his own mind - science has nothing to offer Chalmer’s ad hoc concoction, pretty though it may sound. Yes, it spawned plenty of profitable cottage industries, but popularity isn’t an indication of correctness.
It is contrasted with the “easy problems” of explaining why and how physical systems give a (healthy) human being the ability to discriminate, to integrate information, and to perform behavioral functions such as watching, listening, speaking (including generating an utterance that appears to refer to personal behaviour or belief), and so forth.
The easy problems are amenable to functional explanation: that is, explanations that are mechanistic or behavioral, as each physical system can be explained (at least in principle) purely by reference to the “structure and dynamics” that underpin the phenomenon.
Proponents of the hard problem argue that it is categorically different from the easy problems since no mechanistic or behavioral explanation could explain the character of an experience, not even in principle.
Even after all the relevant functional facts are explicated, they argue, there will still remain a further question: “why is the performance of these functions accompanied by experience?” To bolster their case, proponents of the hard problem frequently turn to various philosophical thought experiments, involving philosophical zombies (which, they claim, are conceivable) or inverted qualia, or the claimed ineffability of colour experiences, or the claimed unknowability of foreign states of consciousness, such as the experience of being a bat.
Talk by Dr. Mark Solms - Jul 29, 2020 - NERV Online
David Chalmers’s (1995) hard problem famously states: “It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises.” Thomas Nagel (1974) wrote something similar: “If we acknowledge that a physical theory of mind must account for the subjective character of experience, we must admit that no presently available conception gives us a clue about how this could be done.”
This presentation will point the way towards the long-sought “good explanation” – or at least it will provide “a clue”. Prof Solms will make three points:
(1) It is unfortunate that cognitive science took vision as its model example when looking for a ‘neural correlate of consciousness’ because cortical vision (like most cognitive processes) is not intrinsically conscious. There is not necessarily ‘something it is like’ to see.
(2) Affective feeling, by contrast, is conscious by definition. You cannot feel something without feeling it. Moreover, affective feeling, generated in the upper brainstem, is the foundational form of consciousness: prerequisite for all the higher cognitive forms.
(3) The functional mechanism of feeling explains why and how it cannot go on ‘in the dark’, free of any inner feel. Affect enables the organism to monitor deviations from its expected self-states in uncertain situations and thereby frees homeostasis from the limitations of automatism. As Nagel says, “An organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is like to be that organism—something it is like for the organism.” Affect literally constitutes the sentient subject.
A bat feels like a bat and nothing else because it inhabit a bat’s body.
or the claimed unknowability of foreign states of consciousness, such as the experience of being a bat.
Of course it’s unknowable, it’s impossible to inhabits a bat’s body!!
And the bat can’t feel like anything but a bat, because its physical body creates its sense of self. How else could it be?
And we can’t feel like anything else because we possess our particular body with it’s experiences and circumstance.