Soft-Wired Illusionism vs. the Meta-Problem of Consciousness
The meta-problem of consciousness is framed as a route into investigating why there are problems in understanding consciousness by describing the mechanisms underpinning our tendency to describe consciousness as problematic, and the evolutionary origins of these mechanisms. This is framed as a means of uniting illusionists and realists toward a common goal, but this supposes that the only viable form of illusionism is what I call 'hard-wired' illusionism, under which phenomenal judgments are a direct product of natural selection. I argue that, instead, 'soft-wired' illusionism is more plausible, where phenomenal judgments are seen to be cultural phenomena. Since the problem of consciousness arises from a flawed theory of consciousness, pointing out the mechanisms underlying expression of the theory and the historical origins of the theory will not suffice to tell us why the theory is problematic. As such, the meta-problem is exclusionary toward soft-wired illusionism.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2020