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The Character of Consciousness$
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David J. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness
Source:
The Character of Consciousness
Author(s):

David J. Chalmers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.003.0001

Consciousness poses the most baffling problems in the science of the mind. There is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. All sorts of mental phenomena have yielded to scientific investigation in recent years, but consciousness has stubbornly resisted. This chapter first isolates the truly hard part of the problem of consciousness, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. It critiques some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness and argues that these methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the door to further progress is opened. The second half of the chapter argues that, if we move to a new kind of nonreductive explanation, a naturalistic account of consciousness can be given.

Keywords:   consciousness, science of the mind, conscious experience, reductive methods, nonreductive explanation

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