Pseudo-mysterianism of McGinn: A constructive and naturalistic solution of the hard problem of consciousness is possible

Işıkgil, Sena
Consciousness is the most important aspect of our minds, and there are several perplexing questions about consciousness. The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of finding an answer for the question of how and why non-physical mental states arise from physical brain states. Although there are several traditional attempts to solve the hard problem, none of them have provided successful explanation up to now. As a result of these failed attempts, in the last decade of the 20th century, Colin McGinn, a strong mysterian, suggested a dissolution to the consciousness-brain problem. McGinn’s thesis, Non-constructive Naturalism, claims that although there is a naturalistic solution of the hard problem of consciousness, we are cognitively closed to this solution because of our limited cognitive faculties. However, McGinn’s arguments for cognitive closure are not plausible enough to leave consciousness to dark side. The recent studies on consciousness in the science and philosophy shows that there can be promising approach on the table, e.g. The Integrated Information Theory (IIT), that strongly suggest a possible solution within the framework of constructive naturalism. Even if the IIT is not completely successful as of now, it shows us the possibility of solving the hard problem of consciousness by taking the phenomenal nature of consciousness seriously. In the light of these, the main aim of this dissertation is to reveal that mysterianism of McGinn is pseudo-mysterianism and that a constructive and naturalistic solution of the hard problem of consciousness is possible.


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Citation Formats
S. Işıkgil, “Pseudo-mysterianism of McGinn: A constructive and naturalistic solution of the hard problem of consciousness is possible,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.