The hard problem of consciousness

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DavidSchuy
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The hard problem of consciousness

Post by DavidSchuy »

My question concerns the hard problem of consciousness at its deepest level.
According to Bernardo and the philosophy of mind, what is the hard problem of consciousness?
I would say that it is why and how we do have subjective inner experience that we call consciousness. Why and how comes that it feels like to be something?

Is consciousness an axiom that just is postulated?

Or can we learn from the hard problem why materialism fails to explain consciousness?
Simon Adams
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Re: The hard problem of consciousness

Post by Simon Adams »

I’m not sure I understand the question, as in Bernardo’s metaphysics there really is no hard problem of consciousness. The ‘hard problem’ tends to be materialists shifting their worldview enough to accept that mind can produce matter.

I guess there are a huge number of what Chalmers would probably call easy problems, but which are difficult to answer in an empirical way because you can’t interrogate the “thing-in-itself” in the same way that you can use physical instruments to investigate the representation. So for example, maybe the process of individual cells becoming part of an eye, or part of a heart etc has an intuitively more natural explanation beyond the functional “some genes turn on” explanation, in terms of there being a mental image of the organism or creature, whether you call it an idea or a form. But how would you test this beyond the expression of genes and the proteins they produce? What do individual cells represent from a mind perspective? I guess Bernardo would say that cells are just patterns that mind-at-large has developed over time, but if mitochondria and bacteria were ‘alters’ at some level, then you maybe have a kind of combination problem with animals consisting of many alters within alters. However none of these are things where science has a clear answer that conflicts with Bernardo’s views.

From my perspective the ‘hard problem’ with analytic idealism is more about the big questions, in terms of knowing the ‘why” more than the “how’s, and the deepest truths about why we exist at all. Bernardo seems to use parsimony and intuition, and maybe some inspiration from Schopenhauer and eastern religions, to answer these. Although I don’t agree with everything in this article, it does include many of the reasons I could never fully align with Bernardo’s views on these big questions.

Concerning Idealism, Evolution, Psychology and other Modern Errors

(It’s a fairly long article but has separate sections for the different areas that Bernardo covers beyond fundamental idealism)
Ideas are certain original forms of things, their archetypes, permanent and incommunicable, which are contained in the Divine intelligence. And though they neither begin to be nor cease, yet upon them are patterned the manifold things of the world that come into being and pass away.
St Augustine
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AshvinP
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Re: The hard problem of consciousness

Post by AshvinP »

DavidSchuy wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:48 am My question concerns the hard problem of consciousness at its deepest level.
According to Bernardo and the philosophy of mind, what is the hard problem of consciousness?
I would say that it is why and how we do have subjective inner experience that we call consciousness. Why and how comes that it feels like to be something?

Is consciousness an axiom that just is postulated?

Or can we learn from the hard problem why materialism fails to explain consciousness?
Under idealism, the existence of consciousness is an axiom. It's a very reasonable axiom, since the only aspect of reality that we cannot reasonably doubt is that we experience qualia, such as pain. However it will always remain an axiom of the ontology, rather than a conclusion of it.

The 'hard problem of consciousness' is unique to materialist and most dualist ontologies - how do material interactions give rise to qualia of experience, and why do specific material interactions give rise to some qualia but not others?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Starbuck
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Re: The hard problem of consciousness

Post by Starbuck »

Idealism: We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively.

Materialist: Something I have never experienced called 'matter' does a woo woo dance and creates lots of subjectivities.


One of these views has a hard problem!
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Mandibil
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Re: The hard problem of consciousness

Post by Mandibil »

It is an inevitable artifact of the (imo) incorrect notion that what is experienced as (representing something) "outside" (the mind) is the actual "real" outside (the things in themselves) and also fundamentally different from what is experienced as only inside (the mind). It is an impossible problem not a hard problem and those "studying it" should be defunded !
“Study hard what interests you the most
in the most undisciplined, irreverent and
original manner possible.”
― Richard Feynmann
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