Reality and Representation Qualia, Computers, and the “Explanatory Gap”

  • Michael Pauen


Three problems concerning the mutual relation of reality and representation are discussed. Although there is no direct access to reality, a structural similarity between reality and representation can be assumed. A holistic account of qualia can help to explain how this structural similarity emerges. On this account, qualia have a relational, not an intrinsic status. A proposal is made how the “explanatory gap” between the first person perspective and neurobiological theories of brain processes could be closed. While corresponding with the PDP-approach in AI, the results contradict the traditional brain/computer analogy. All in all, these considerations may help to dissolve some of the philosophical puzzles around the mind/brain relationship and demonstrate that the relevant questions can be solved by empirical research.


Mental Representation Person Perspective Phenomenal Property Phenomenal State Phenomenal Consciousness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Pauen
    • 1
  1. 1.Hanse Institute for Advanced StudyUniversity of BremenDelmenhorstGermany

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