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The Origin of Phenomenal Consciousness On the Art of the 'Hard Problem'

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In this article, I perform an aesthetic analysis of the intuition of phenomenal consciousness, redescribing this intuition as the result of a creative activity affirming of the uniqueness and value of human engagements with the world rather than the result of an activity of self-knowing through which phenomenal awareness becomes aware of itself. During this analysis, I analogize the construction of the intuition of phenomenal consciousness to the construction of religious intuitions for sophisticated believers and the construction of aesthetic intuitions for sophisticated aesthetes. I find accounts of the 'mistake' of the intuition of phenomenal consciousness by authors such as Dennett are overly reductive and simplistic, even though I agree that phenomenal consciousness is a created illusion rather than a natural kind. The intuition of phenomenal consciousness is a sophisticated formation which testifies to the commitment of certain naturalistically inclined theorists to the inestimable value of private experience.

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2013

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