Extending neutral monism to the hard problem

Michael Silberstein, University of Maryland, College Park (UMD)
Anthony Chemero, University of Cincinnati


We agree with critics that enactive, sensorimotor, and ecological accounts of conscious experience do not in and of themselves fully deflate the hard problem of consciousness. As we noted in our earlier work (Silberstein and Chemero, 2011a), even if an extended account of cognition and intentionality allows us to be rid of qualia by deflating the dualism between intentionality and phenomenal experience, the heart of the hard problem, namely subjectivity, still remains. We argue that in order to resolve or deflate the hard problem the hypothesis of extended consciousness needs to be understood as an expression of neutral monism and can quite naturally be understood that way.