SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Das schwierige Problem des Bewusstseins
(Philosophie des Geistes, Englisch)

Chalmers (1995) claims that the hard problem of consciousness cannot be solved by contemporary neuroscience since it does not explain why performance of certain functions give rise to experience. Chalmers rejects Crick and Koch's suggestion of 35-75 Hz neural oscillations in the cerebral cortex, Baars's global workspace theory, Dennett's multiple drafts model, Edelman's neural Darwinism model and Jackendoff's intermediate level theory, claiming that they leave the bridging question unanswered (Chalmers 1995).

However, the very reason for posing the hard problem of consciousness is questionable. It seems that the hard problem might be extended to other disciplines of science, leading to questions why particular mechanisms or structures give rise to certain things and not others, e.g. why water - and not gasoline - has the chemical structure of H2O (Block 2006). This argumentation makes the hard problem illusory, so there were proposals to reformulate the problem into a question how something objective can be subjective or how something first-personal can be third-personal (Block 2006). I argue that such reformulation may still not save the hard problem from becoming trivial or being similar to other problems that could be posed in scientific disciplines not connected with consciousness.

Furthermore, I will argue that arguments against physicalism seem to presuppose the explanatory gap instead of proving it. Thought-experiments such as the knowledge argument presuppose that structures and functions of mental states are not enough to explain the phenomenal consciousness, which is true only when the hard problem holds, so these thought-experiments cannot be used in the argumentation in favour of the hard problem (Carruthers & Schier 2012). Thus the hard problem seems either illusionary or not well argued for.

Chair: Tae-Kyung Kim
Zeit: 09:45-10:15, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 107

Kinga Jeczminska
(University of Warsaw, Polen)

Kinga Jeczminska (MD in Medicine, MA and BA in English philology, BA in Philosophy of Being, Cognition and Value), University of Warsaw. 2007 graduate in Medicine at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, 2011 baccalaureate in Philosophy of Being, Cognition and Value (Studies in English) and in English Philology at the University of Warsaw, 2013 master in English Philology at the University of Warsaw; BA thesis in philosophy about functionalism, currently an MA and PhD student in philosophy at the University of Warsaw. Publications in psychiatry, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and bioethics.

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