WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THE EXPLANATORY GAP AND NOT THE HARD PROBLEM?

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Pochemu nas dolzhen zabotit' razryv v ob'yasnenii soznaniya, a ne trudnaya problema soznaniya
Author(s): 
Svetlana Nagumanova
Kazan State Medical University
Issue number: 
No. 2 (Vol. 44)
Pages: 
136-145
Abstract: 

It is an accepted view in philosophy of consciousness today to consider the Hard problem and the explanatory gap problem to be one and the same problem. The notion of explanatory gap was introduced by J. Levine (1983). Chalmers (1995) developed Levine’s idea of an explanatory gap into the Hard problem. In this article I show that there are two different problems here and give reasons why we should care about the explanatory gap rather than the Hard problem. Both Levine and Chalmers accept functional model of reductive explanation. According to them, functional reduction, that works so well for almost all phenomena, does not work in explaining consciousness. No cognitive function can grasp phenomenal consciousness. However functional model admits a compromise: a possibility to replace our pre-theoretical notion of consciousness with its theoretical successor-concept. I think that phenomenal representation is the best candidate for such successor-concept.

Keywords: 
Consciousness, Hard problem, explanatory gap, functional reduction, replacement, phenomenal representation
References: 

Chalmers, D. 1995. Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2:200-19.

Chalmers, D. J. 1996. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. – 390 p.

Jackson, F. 1994. Finding the Mind in the Natural World. In R.Casati, B.Smith, and G.White, eds., Philosophy and the Cognitive Sciences (Holder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1994). Reprinted in D. Chalmers (ed) Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press, 2002, p.162-169.

Jackson, F. 2003. Mind and Illusion in Ludlow, P., Nagasawa, Y., and Stoljar, D. (eds.) 2004. There’s Something About Mary. Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument. Cambridge, Mass., London, England: The MIT Press.pp.421 –443

Levine, J. 1983. Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64:354-61.

McGinn, C. How not to solve the mind-body problem. In C.Gilett and B.Loewer (eds.) Physicalism and its discontents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p.284-305

Stoljar, Daniel. 2009.The Argument from Revelation // Conceptual analysis and philosophical naturalism / edited by David Braddon-Mitchell and Robert Nola. MIT press, p.113-138.

van Gulick, R. 1993. Understanding the phenomenal mind: Are we all just armadillos? In M. Davies and G. Humphreys (eds.) Consciousness: Philosophical and Psychological Aspects. Blackwell. - p.137-154.

DOI: 
10.5840/eps201544213
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