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Illusionism Helps Realism Confront the Meta-Problem

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Chalmers (2018) maintains that even if we understood every physical process in the brain we could still wonder why these processes give rise to conscious experience. The meta-problem is the challenge of explaining why we think this 'hard problem' exists. This response to the target paper endorses illusionist accounts of three 'problem intuitions' about consciousness: duality, presentation, and revelation. Subjectâ–“object duality is explained in terms of a clash between two compelling but contradictory convictions about consciousness. Phenomenal presence is understood in relation to the configurational features of sensory experiences. And intuitions of revelation are explained as due to an unfounded belief in introspective ontological access. These illusionist analyses are used to bolster the case for physicalist realism rather than to support 'strong' illusionism. In addition to addressing the meta-problem they suggest a promising approach to the hard problem as well.
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Keywords: consciousness;; explanatory gap;; hard problem;; illusionism;; meta-problem;; qualia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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