On a Confusion About Which Intuitions to Trust: From the Hard Problem to a Not Easy One

Topoi 36 (1):31-40 (2017)
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Alleged self-evidence aside, conceivability arguments are one of the main reasons in favor of the claim that there is a Hard Problem. These arguments depend on the appealing Kripkean intuition that there is no difference between appearances and reality in the case of consciousness. I will argue that this intuition rests on overlooking a distinction between cognitive access and consciousness, which has received recently important empirical support. I will show that there are good reasons to believe that the intuition is misguided—at least on the reading that the conceivability arguments require—and hence that the arguments are unsupported. This, in turn, alleviates the Hard Problem but leaves us with what I think is a not easy problem.

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Miguel Angel Sebastian
National Autonomous University of Mexico


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