3 - Scientific Explanation In Relation To The Hard And Easy Problems Of Consciousness
A more detailed breakdown of what I was planning to include in the section that:
(a) describes the 'hard' and 'easy' problems of consciousness
(b) describes how these two different problems relate to scientific explanation

What are the 'hard' and 'easy' problems of consciousness?

Chalmers suggests that the data we use in studying consciousness is divided into roughly two categories:

In the third-person data category, Chalmers lists the following:

In first-person data:

For a theory of consciousness to be complete, Chalmers suggests that an adequate explanation must be provided both for third-person and first-person data. Chalmers categorises the problems of explaining third-person data as the "easy problems" of consciousness, and the problem of explaining first-person data as the "hard problem" of consciousness.

What is the role of scientific explanation in explaining the 'easy problem' of consciousness?

What is the role of scientific explanation in explaining the 'hard problem' of consciousness?

Jason's comments, 2014-10-22

"good agreement with evidence" — Remember the POTC lectures on anomalies, and the saying "All theories are born refuted"? You might want to read over the lecture notes for those and say what you think.

"we can conceivably come up with scientific principles suggesting that there is something it is like to be a bat" — This is news to me. I'm not sure what sort of thing you have in mind.

"It basically says that what we're looking for is a sort of 'experiential understanding', which surely can only be gained from experience itself (which in this case seems impossible)." — That seems ROUGHLY right to me, but you can't quite believe exactly that. Because if you did, you'd think it for other humans too. And also for yourself at other times.


Information on the Hard Problem of Consciousness, inc. some responses to the problem.