The Phenomenal Concepts Approach to Consciousness


The phenomenal concept approach to consciousness takes into consideration the existence of experience that are used to offer a solution to the hard and easy question to come up with a solution to the conscious mind. The subject to be discussed is the conciseness associated with hard problems as postulated by authors such as David Chalmers, Nagel, Levine and Glen. In doing this, the paper will look at the concept of the hard and easy question, analyze the views of this authors, identify the reasons for these problems and later give a solution to the problem that the phenomenal concept approach to consciousness sort to solve.


Phenomenal concept approach to consciousness are the specific concepts that target the first person applied in thinking about phenomenal personal experiences. The phenomenal concept and experiences have found their way into several discussion that involve physical nature states of the mind. Beliefs and experiences from a distinct set of states of the fact, they are usually considered as separated domains of the mind. Moreover, the experiences that human being undergo are usually phenomenal in a paradigmatic manner. The existence of beliefs that are phenomenal in nature makes it possible to intersect phenomenal concepts with experiences and thus get a precise definition of what consciousness entails. In most cases, it is referred to as the hard question and entails conciseness is repeated to the physical state of the mind. David Chalmers waste first to offer a vivid explanation to the hard question and thus is associated with the origin of the phenomenal concept of and approach to consciousness.


From an individual’s perspective, the phenomenal approach to consciousness has failed to offer a precise definition to consciousness by omitting very critical parts that must be included in the definition. Besides, the phenomenal concept tends to divide problems that must be solved in the conscious mind into two thus making the process of definition to become a repetitive with a meaningless word. In this regard, the phenomenal concept approach has not solved the problem it is intended to solve and thus should be totally done away with when it comes to offering a precise definition to consciousness.

The phenomenal concepts approach consciousness is the hard problem that consciousness faces in explaining why and how human beings have phenomenal experiences and qualia. Besides phenomenal approach to consciousness helps human beings understand sensational characteristics such as taste, colors, and signs. Phenomenal concept approach to consciousness argues that consciousness is a fundamental and elusive thing that is part of the universe. Besides, the phenomenon concept views consciousness a part of panpsychism and is referred to as panexperientialism. 

The main argument here is that it is not possible to turn the rich inner parts of human beings into a functional component of the reducible physical process in human beings. Thus, the phenomenal approach to consciousness views consciousness as something that must be explained in the physical aspects. This, therefore, calls for a vivid explanation of the function of the universe that are equally fundamental to the principles that exist in nature. As such, it is important to take into consideration things such as time and mass when explaining consciousness using the phenomenal approach. 

According to Humphrey (2012), the phenomenal approach to consciousness also views consciousness as an essential object of experiences that are only visible to the individual who experience them. Thus, it is impossible to argue with the phenomenal approach that there is a relationship between subjective that are essential and those that are non-essential. Moreover, it is only through reductivism that we can easily deduce what exactly constitutes consciousness in the mind. None the less, the human mind is not capable of giving a precise definition without the help of the phenomenal approach. Otherwise, there will be just imaginary and theoretical approaches to the true definition of consciousness based on the mind of an individual. This can be assumed to be a personal view of what consciousness entails.

As aforementioned, phenomenal approach to consciousness uses the existence of hard questions to explain consciousness. However, there are some philosophers who reject the argument that hard question relay exit. According to these philosophers, hard questions do not exist but only imagine because human being has never come to understand their conscious. According to philosophers such as Dennett (2013) , argues that the hard problems that phenomenal approach to consciousness talks about are usually solved when the easy question are answered. Dennett is contradicting the suggestion by Chalmers and argues that consciousness cannot be considered as a fundamental part of the universe but can only be explained by natural phenomenon.

According to Dennett (2013), there are nonphysical aspects that are involved in consciousness. Instead, the conscious only deceives people to imagine that it exist in a nonphysical way. Thus, Dennett rules out the approach of involving nonphysical parts of consciences when trying to understand what exactly constitutes consciousness. Dennett (2013a) goes ahead to explain that the consciousness only imitates nonphysical aspects so that its power can be manifested in human beings.  From this perspective, Dennett views consciousness as something similar to magic stages on its ability to create the illusion that are extraordinary from things that are ordinary in nature.

Dennett (2013b) also gives accounts of several instances where human beings are deceived to overstate the power of consciousness. He uses the change blindness that is considered the normal phenomena to explain the visual process that is responsible for failure to identify changes in the scenery that occur in series of images that keep on alternating. The argument is that any attempt to overestimate the power of human consciousness will lead to overestimation of the ability of the brain to process visual components hence a pervasive argument. Moreover, any attempt to make consciousness some out as something that is mysterious is likely to deter the efforts to achieve an effective theory of consciousness. Other critics like Glenn are also of the opinion that any mistaken experience will still retain the basic face of the experience that will require explanation. His argument is contrary to the argument postulated by Dennett. 

The phenomenal approach to conciseness related hard problems and the nonphysical; processes that create a particular experience. Thus, Dennett argues that the phenomenon approach to consciousness will entail the production of the conscious behavior or the performing the functions that cause consciousness. Although these are seen to signify the problems that are regarded as easy problems to consciousness. According to Dennett (2013), these easy problems are the main drivers to consciousness. Thus, any attempt to use the phenomenal approach to consciousness to explain consciousness by doing away with the easy problems will deliberately deter the identification consciences, thoughts, and feelings. He goes ahead to argue that easy and hard problems are inseparable when it come to the definition of consciousness. As such, he asserts that the hard problems are by default incorporated into the easy problems and, therefore, solved in the process of solving the easy problems. Explaining the two problems as a cohesive unit is, therefore, the only solution to understanding consciousness.

Another philosopher, Dehaene argues that the hard problems suggested by Chalmers are the same easy problems Chalmers describes but are always shifting and human understanding keep on evolving. According to t him, the hard problems are automatically solved and diluted from the mind ones the solution to the easy problems is found. Moreover, Dehaene argues that the education that human intuition acquires will also lead to the automatic solution of the hard [problems in the process of solving the easy problems. His argument invalidates the existence of hard problems and terms them as literally a wastage of time. 

Alter & Walter (2011) notes that the phenomenal approach to consciousness is an absurd approach and create a misunderstanding of the nature of consciousness. Moreover, there is a lot of incoherent concept in the phenomenal approach to consciousness that makes it totally impractical in human understanding. All the phenomenal approach to consciousness can do is to keep on taking people back to the same question without taking into consideration the exact components of consciousness. There is also an argument that the aspect of injury should be taken into consideration when determining the actual meaning of consciousness. Thus, consciousness should not be confused to be an external property because it will lead to the total omission of the subjective matter that is an essential part of the definition of consciousness. 

Humphrey (2012) asserts that the phenomenal approach of consciousness also argues that when individuals assume that consciousness is free from functions and structures of the mental state, then it will be possible to imagine that the hard problems exist and are persuasive. The imagination that hard problems sexist makes the mind begs for the questions to the hard problems thus creating an illusion that indeed the hard problems exist in the human mind. Once the arguments start requesting for the question to the alluded hard questions, the mind imagines that consciousness can be defined from the phenomenal approach that takes into consideration solutions to the hard questions. 

The phenomenal approach to consciousness also uses the conclusion that the mind gets from the experiments done in the real life to control the theories that explain consciousness. Instead, human beings should adopt the use of theories that guide consciousness to direct the conclusion obtained from human thoughts. However, if this phenomenon approach is used in understanding consciousness, it is possible that human being is denying the existence of hard problems to pave the way for theories that human being want to come out right. None the less, these theories can only be justified on condition that there is a possibility for them to come out right.

According to Humphrey (2012), the phenomenal approach to consciousness also ignores the higher order theory of deflationary accounts of consciousness. Also human ability to recognize a particular experience that takes place in lifetimes also used to understand consciousness in the phenomenal approach. Such capacity does not depend on qualia as proposed by the phenomenal approach to consciousness. Instead, the argument that eliminative material is responsible for the reduction of the experience of conscious into a physical state that is irreducible. Similarly, eliminative materialism argues that there is no precise definition of the physical state of the consciousness. However, an objection is raised that it is possible to achieve similar realities that come in different ways thus posting the imagination that they are two different realities. It is important to note that this numerical difference is far much different from the reality. Additionally, some scholars criticize the qualia argument that it is not possible to have multiple approaches coming from single reality. Thus, in situations where consciousness is involved, it calls for the existence of reality in the case.

Kriegel, Uriah, & Williford. (2013) argues that the source of illusion is also part of the phenomenal approach to consciousness. It helps human beings understand the fact that subjective experience constitutes vast and important empirical body evidence that are usually overlooked by the modern theory of consciousness. Moreover, this illusion state that the subjective components of consciousness is reported and perceived by human beings as they occur. On the contrary, Dennett argues that through the solution of easy problems, it is possible to solve the hard problems by identifying the stimuli that pathways of neurons that generate subjective experience evidence through operations. As such, the reductionist theory will remain incomplete so long us human beings remain clueless on why the brain fires up to cause the subjective experience.


In conclusion, the phenomenal concept of conscious of the mind has failed to solve the problem that it aimed to sole. This has led to a total rejection of the theory with several scholars argue that the theory has completed omitted the crucial fats that need to be included in the real definite. Besides, hard and easy problems are similar and should not be considered as tow distinct problems. By solving the easy problems, the hard problems will be automatically solved and thus lead to a complete solution to the consciousness problem. As such, the precise definition of consciousness is that that tales

Related essays