Structural qualia: a solution to the hard problem of consciousness

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Abstract

The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure. However, modern neuroscience has introduced a theoretical framework in which also the apparently non-structural aspects of consciousness, namely the so called qualia or qualitative properties, can be analyzed in structural terms. That framework allows us to see qualia as something compositional with internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature. Moreover, those internal structures can be identified which certain neural patterns. Thus consciousness as a whole can be seen as a complex neural pattern that misperceives some of its own highly complex structural properties as monadic and qualitative. Such neural pattern is analyzable in fully structural terms and thereby the hard problem is solved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00237
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume2014/5
ISSN1664-1078
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology
  • 611 Philosophy

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