The “Hard Problem” of Life
Sara Imari Walker, Paul C.W. Davies
(Submitted on 23 Jun 2016)
Chalmer’s famously identified pinpointing an explanation for our subjective experience as the “hard problem of consciousness”. He argued that subjective experience constitutes a “hard problem” in the sense that its explanation will ultimately require new physical laws or principles. Here, we propose a corresponding “hard problem of life” as the problem of how `information’ can affect the world. In this essay we motivate both why the problem of information as a causal agent is central to explaining life, and why it is hard – that is, why we suspect that a full resolution of the hard problem of life will, similar to as has been proposed for the hard problem of consciousness, ultimately not be reducible to known physical principles.
Comments: To appear in “From Matter to Life: Information and Causality”. S.I. Walker, P.C.W. Davies and G.F.R. Ellis (eds). Cambridge University Press
Subjects: Other Quantitative Biology (q-bio.OT)
Cite as: arXiv:1606.07184 [q-bio.OT]
(or arXiv:1606.07184v1 [q-bio.OT] for this version)