The philosophy of phenomenal consciousness
The scientific study of consciousness is constantly making new discoveries, but one particular aspect of consciousness remains problematic to explain. This is the fact that conscious experiences present themselves to us in a first-person way: there is something it feels like to be the subject of a conscious experience. This ‘phenomenal’ aspect of consciousness seems to be subjective, private, and knowable in a special way, making it difficult to reconcile with the scientific focus on objective, third-person data. This introduction provides an overview of phenomenal consciousness, explores philosophical arguments about its nature, and considers whether or not we should expect to find an explanation for the properties of phenomenal consciousness.