Hard problem of Consciousness

The Easy and Hard Problem of Consciousness

So far all we have dealt with is the “easy” problem of consciousness.  The easy problem is showing the mechanism that makes us aware, allows us to focus attention, solve problems, etc.  We have already talked about the brain centres and neurotransmitters that allow us to do that.  Science understands that, and will one day be able to copy these abilities and reproduce them using computer machines.

The “hard problem of consciousness” was introduced by David Chalmers to show the difficulty with explaining the how and why we have experiences.  We can build computers to receive and process sensory information, and to interact with other people talking and listening – but these machines will not be experiencing in the same way that we appear to.  The difference is our consciousness.  There are other theories contradicting this and I’m not going to be able to solve this here, but we will cover some of the proposed theories to explain this “hard problem” such as Orch-OR.