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Ignorance and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness

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Chalmers (2018) considers a wide range of possible responses to the meta-problem of consciousness. Among them is the ignorance hypothesis -- the view that there only appears to be a hard problem because of our inadequate conception of the physical. Although Chalmers quickly dismisses this view, I argue that it has much greater promise than he recognizes. The plausibility of the ignorance hypothesis depends on how exactly one frames the 'problem intuitions' that a solution to the meta-problem must explain. I argue that problem intuitions are hybrid intuitions that encompass one's intuitive take on the phenomenal and one's intuitive take on the physical. The ignorance hypothesis undermines the second half of these hybrid intuitions. I show how the ignorance hypothesis is preferable to the alternatives and attempt to explain why there is such widespread resistance to this promising position.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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