September 26, 2007

Given the accepted principle that every moment of consciousness has its neural correlates, the crucial question arises, Which produces which? Most neurophysiologists work on some highly specialized area of brain research and are not particularly interested in the philosophical issue, as they see it, of the relationship between the brain and the consciousness. For it does not make any practical difference to them whether consciousness is identical with, or caused by, or only correlated with brain activity. But those who do concern themselves with this fundamental question distinguish between the easy problem and the hard problem. The easy problem – easy in principle – is to trace precisely what is going on in the brain when someone is consciously perceiving, thinking, willing, experiencing some emotion, creating a work of art, etc. The hard problem is to find out what consciousness actually is and how it is caused – assuming, as they mostly do, that it is somehow caused – by cerebral activity. This, says Steven Rose, is “science’s last frontier.”

– John Hick

Another way of saying the same thing. I’ll get to the bottom of this if it’s the death of me!


One Response to “”

  1. dave in the back said

    I think, therefore, I am.

    Might be a while before they/you discover how it all works. I hope they do, it would definitely be interesting.

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