This morning I read the profile of Dan Dennett in the March 27 New Yorker. It is a delightful portrait, but I found myself surprised in a few places as I was agreeing with Dennett. I've never felt agreement with Dennett other than on the basic point that I'm a physicalist and not a dualist, though I characterize the physical in a way that is pan-experientialist and he doesn't.
But reading here his view seems closer to mine than I had ever thought before. Particularly at this point:
He told Chalmers that there didn't have to be a hard boundary between third-person explanations and first-person experience--between, as it were, the description of the sugar molecule and the taste of sweetness. Why couldn't one see oneself as taking two different stances toward a single phenomenon? It was possible, he said, to be "neutral about the metaphysical status of the data." From the outside, it looks like neurons; from the inside, it feels like consciousness. Problem solved.
That penultimate sentence sounds very like my dissertation.
P. S. The profile made me a little envious of his rich personal life.