Re: On the subjective experience of consciousness

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Mon Mar 29 2004 - 21:08:51 MST

Paul Hughes wrote:

> --- Jef Allbright <> wrote:

>> A purely mechanistic third person account of
>> conscious experience has all the observable
>> attributes and characteristics of a first
>> person account. But the third-person account
>> is simpler and more consistent, therefore
>> preferable as an explanation. There is no
>> reason to hypothesize some mysterious state
>> to explain our first-person experience of
>> consciousness.
>> Of course it *feels* the way it does.
> I would disagree. If we examine this problem using
> the 'easy problem of consciousness' your remarks are
> self-consistent concurrently with Ben G's assement of
> simplicity in regards to the context from which we
> examine it.
> However, from the 'hard problem of consciousness' your
> perspective doesn't resolve the problematic issues
> raised by it, it simply reverts back to the 'easy
> problem of consciousness', which fails miserably to
> address the hard problem.

Quoting (from Chalmers (from Ben)) to state the "hard problem":

    Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage
    in visual and auditory information-processing,
    we have visual or auditory experience: the quality
    of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? ...Why
    should physical processing give rise to a rich inner
    life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that
    it should, and yet it does.

Because evolution discovered a fitness adaptation that involves keeping
a mental model of the world, as well as a model of self, as well as
reasoning capability, etc. Any time you query that system through
introspection, you're dealing with the model of self, and of course it
(yourself) answers in the first person as expected.

- Jef

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