The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how physical systems give rise to subjective experience. The hard problem typically contrasts with the easy problems of explaining behavior. However, there is one behavior with an especially close tie to the hard problem: we make verbal reports such as “consciousness is puzzling” and “there is a hard problem of consciousness”. The meta-problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining these reports. The meta-problem is strictly speaking an easy problem, and solving it is a tractable empirical project for cognitive scientists. At the same time, a solution will almost certainly have consequences for the hard problem of consciousness. In this talk I will lay out the meta-problem research program, I will examine potential solutions, and I will investigate the consequences for artificial intelligence and other issues.
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Moderated by Eric Mann-Hielscher.