RE: Conscious of the hard problem

Rob Harris Cen-IT (
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 11:49:03 +0100

> This "hard problem" phrase is really just an ambit claim for high
> intellectual ground, ie., "oh yes, but you biopsych's only study the
> non-hard problem ..."
Crap. If the world's leading minds are that puerile, then we're all screwed. Chalmers made the distinction between the "hard" and "easy" problems to dispel the tendency for people to declare consciousness explained on the basis of psychological/traditional science analyses which never actually address directly the thing we're all interested in: the sensation of being, experience.
He called the former "easy" because we can use the tools of contemporary science to explain them - not because any fool could do it. He labelled the analysis and explanation of conscious experience "hard" because contemporary science can't touch the concept with a barge pole. It's just not measurable or observable by a second person. Any extrapolation of Chalmers' words for use in primate playground superiority battles is certainly not science.


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