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ConsciousnessCreeping up on the hard problem$
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Jeffrey Gray

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198520917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198520917.001.0001

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Stances towards the problem of consciousness

Stances towards the problem of consciousness

(p.1) Chapter 1 Stances towards the problem of consciousness

Jeffrey Gray

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a brief description of different spaces of conscious experience. It then distinguishes between the contents of consciousness and states of consciousness. This is followed by the discussion of the four different points of view (‘stances’) that one can adopt towards the problem of consciousness. The first (‘naïve’) stance is taken by all of us before we have thought much about consciousness. This stance takes conscious experience for granted, as the firm ground from which to approach all other problems. The second (‘normal science’) stance is taken by a large number of scientists and philosophers, some of whom have thought about consciousness very little, others a great deal. The third (‘new theory’) stance accepts the importance of these normal-science problems. The fourth (‘non-scientific’) stance agrees with the new-theory stance that there is a Hard Problem, but rejects the likelihood that this will find a solution within science.

Keywords:   conscious experience, contents of consciousness, states of consciousness, Hard Problem

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