Michael Pauen (Berlin school of Mind and Brain):
Why Qualia Need to be Intrinsically Functional - And What That Means for the Problem of Consciousness
One of the most basic assumptions underlying the analysis of the “Hard Problem” or the “Explanatory Gap” is that phenomenal states have no intrinsic functionality. That is why color experience may be inverted without affecting behavior; consciousness may even be completely absent without making any difference.
Here we will take two steps in order to reject this assumption: First, we will advance theoretical arguments showing that phenomenal states need to be intrinsically functional, otherwise we would have to expect absurd consequences. In a second step, we present empirical evidence showing what those functional roles might be, where they come from, and how they can contribute to our understanding of consciousness.