The Cunning of Geist

045 - Zombies, Bats, & Chinese Rooms: The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Hegel

January 09, 2022 Gregory Novak
The Cunning of Geist
045 - Zombies, Bats, & Chinese Rooms: The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Hegel
Show Notes

Philosophers and scientists speak of the "hard problem of consciousness." But what exactly is the problem?  The issue seems to be more with the narrow view of naturalistic materialism, that excludes "everything mental - consciousness, meaning, intent or purpose" (Nagel). 

At the center of the disagreement is what is now termed "qualia" (a variation of this term was first used by Charles Peirce). This is the experience of seeing the color red, hearing a robin sing, or tasting a glass of wine. This actual quality is difficult for the pure physicalist to explain, when they have removed "mind" from their paradigm.

But some contemporary philosophers beg to differ with the materialistic conception, including Thomas Nagel, David Chalmers, and John Searle. And of course, before them there was Hegel, who puts subjectivity right at the core of being, with his famous expression, "substance is subject." This episode explores.