Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness

Author:   Josh Weisberg
Publisher:   Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN:  

9781032533438


Pages:   180
Publication Date:   20 November 2023
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness


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Overview

Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness argues that despite the worries of explanatory pessimists, consciousness can be fully explained in “easy” scientific terms. The widespread intuition that consciousness poses a hard problem is plausibly based on how consciousness appears to us in first-person access. The book offers a debunking argument to undercut the justificatory link between the first-person appearances and our hard problem intuitions. The key step in the debunking argument involves the development and defense of an empirical model of first-person access: Automated Compression Theory (ACT). ACT holds that first-person access to consciousness is accomplished by automated accessing of compressed sensory information. Because of the distorting nature of this compressed access, it seems to subjects that consciousness possesses “exceptional” properties—properties leading to the hard problem—even though no such properties are present. If there are no exceptional properties to explain, then an explanation in easy terms can fully account for conscious experience. The book presents a range of empirical evidence for ACT and concludes that the burden of proof is now on the pessimists to show why we shouldn’t be optimistic about explaining consciousness.

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Author:   Josh Weisberg
Publisher:   Taylor & Francis Ltd
Imprint:   Routledge
Weight:   0.512kg
ISBN:  

9781032533438


ISBN 10:   1032533439
Pages:   180
Publication Date:   20 November 2023
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Tertiary & Higher Education ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Josh Weisberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston. He is the author of Consciousness (2014) and editor of Qualitative Consciousness: Themes from the Philosophy of David Rosenthal (2022) and has published a range of articles in philosophy of mind and consciousness studies.

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