How the Brain Makes Up the Mind: a heuristic approach to the hard problem of consciousness

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Abstract
A solution to the “hard problem” requires taking the point of view of the organism and its sub- agents. The organism constructs phenomenality through acts of fiat, much as we create meaning in language, through the use of symbols that are assigned meaning in the context of an embodied evolutionary history. Phenomenality is a virtual representation, made to itself by an executive agent (the conscious self), which is tasked with monitoring the state of the organism and its environment, planning future action, and coordinating various sub-agencies. Consciousness is not epiphenomenal and serves a function for higher organisms that is distinct from unconscious processing. While a strictly scientific solution to the hard problem is not possible for a science that excludes the subjectivity it seeks to explain, there is hope to at least informally bridge the explanatory gulf between mind and matter.
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Archival date: 2018-06-26
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2018-06-26

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