Consciousness

Is Consciousness an Insoluble Problem?

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Lecture date: Sun, 28th Feb, 2016
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We currently understand very little about how the brain’s hundred thousand million neurons enable us to function, but as technology provides more neurological detail, the mechanisms behind all our various abilities will become intelligible. That’s why philosopher David Chalmers calls this the ‘easy’ problem – it’s potentially soluble.

However, the ‘hard’ problem remains: how do the blind, deaf and unemotional particles in our brains conspire to create the colours, sounds, thoughts and feelings comprising our consciousness? Was Alpine climber John Tyndall right to say, in 1868, that this confronted us with an “intellectually impassable chasm”?

Norman Bacrac has made an in-depth study of this quandary.

Thinking on Sunday

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Norman Bacrac

Norman Bacrac was first elected a Trustee of the Ethical Society several decades ago. He is also Editor of the Society’s monthly journal, Ethical Record. As a former physics teacher, he is particularly interested in the hard problem of how the physics of the brain generates conscious experiences, the role…