Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):38-53 (2020)
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In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness”, David Chalmers draws a new framework in which to consider the mind-body problem. In addition to trying to solve the hard problem of consciousness – the problem of why and how brain processes give rise to conscious experience –, he thinks that philosophy, psychology, neuro-science and the other cognitive sciences should also pursue a solution to what he calls the “meta-problem” of consciousness – i.e., the problem of why we think there is a problem with consciousness. My claim is that, while Chalmers’s project is generously ecumenical as well as beautiful in its meticulous detail, it is mistaken in its core assumption that the meta-problem can be formulated as an “easy problem” for science to solve. Furthermore, the project tilts the field toward illusionism against Type-B materialism, as far as physicalist solutions to the hard problem and the meta-problem are concerned. I will argue that Type-B materialism emerges unscathed from this dialectic.
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