From everything Ive ever seen about the “Hard Problem of Consciousness”, the issue is that materialists and physicalists presume a different question and answer that one instead.
I feel like the two parties are talking across each other.
What I would like to know is whether this is what philosophers think too. Q1: Do dualists or other monists (consciousness, ideal) reply to phenomenal descriptions of consciousness by saying, “Youre not actually answering the hard problem.” ?
The second less rigorous question is about the disjoint itself. Q2: Am I capturing what it is they are said to be missing? Alternatively, the second question might even be, “Would philosophers agree with, and even make, the distinctions I make?” about the hard problem.
An angle of the second question is whether this is ultimately an ontological question, almost exclusively. Do my comments below capture the way in which respondents would push back?
(Please don’t downvote this just because you can divine what I believe. These very distinctions are exactly what’s not known by armchair philosophers.)
How do you explain that first-person, subjective consciousness as a raw, fundamental ontology is here? That qualia exist with their very own raw being, separate from the physical measurables.
The hard problem is not simply that “We are super complex so how can matter be doing a human?” Thats the easy problem.
Dennett and others then proceed with ever more complex (and possibly ever more accurate) physical models/descriptions of biological functioning, mechanisms of the processing of perception, etc.
Dennet has most recently been saying we are like a trillion little robots who “accomplish” consciousness:
Elsewhere he says “gives rise to”.
However, no philosophical dualist (nor monist idealist) is arguing that it cannot be “accomplished” by the trillion robots. They want to know what you mean by “accomplished by”. Are they 1: just different names for same thing (the trillions of robots and the subjective experience) or are they 2. in cause-and-effect relation (as normally implied by “accomplished”) within a single ontological category, or does 3. this causation somehow cross ontological categories?
If 1 or 2, then it directly defies our personal data to claim they are the same ontology. If 3, then how does it cross? (If in your world, the color red is less real than cone and rods cells, then I can’t imagine that.)
Q3: Would addressing those numbered questions answer the problem? Is that the kind of thing people say? I imagine many readers of this question will want to argue that it doesnt miss the hard problem. That’s perfectly ok, but I am really asking what the philosophers who counter, who think it misses, would say. And if it matches some of the above or what?