Abstract Details

The Quest to Solve Consciousness: A Skeptic's View  John Horgan (Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ )   C18

In 1994, I reported on the first Tucson 'Science of Consciousness' meeting for Scientific American in an article titled "Can Science Explain Consciousness?" Ever since, I have continued to track research into how matter makes minds--or, more specifically, how physical objects generate subjective mental states. This is what philosopher David Chalmers, at that 1994 conference, described as 'the hard problem' of consciousness. In this talk, I'll assess major ongoing approaches to consciousness. Do they represent genuine progress, or do they corroborate the mysterian position that the hard problem is intractable?