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Moving forward on the problem of consciousness

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Abstract:

I am very grateful to all the contributors to this symposium for their thoughtful comments. The various papers reflect a wide range of approaches and of views, yielding a rich snapshot of the current state of play on the problem of consciousness. There are some interesting criticisms of my point of view, which I hope to address in this reply in a way that clarifies the central issues at hand, and there are also a number of intriguing positive proposals for confronting the problem. I am honoured to have provided an opportunity to bring such a thought-provoking collection of ideas together. The reply has three main parts. In the first I consider the critiques of a generally reductive or ‘deflationary’ orientation; in the second I consider those of a generally nonreductive orientation; and in the third I make some comments on the various positive proposals.

Keywords: Consciousness; dualism; experience; explanation; functionalism; hard problem; information; materialism; qualia; reduction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 1997

imp/jcs/1997/00000004/00000001/745
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