I think it is impossible to explain only if you define it to be impossible to explain. Perhaps your very notion of the "gap" is the source of the impossibility.
Originally Posted by Into It
I ask a simple question: do you believe there are things that are neither "physical" nor "experiential?" Are there things that are both? Or is this a pure-dichotomy for you (phenomena have to be either physical or experiential but not both)?
If you believe that it is a pure dichotomy, we might as well call things physical and non-physical.
In fact, I believe this to be the case:
No amount of cause-effect explanation will change the minds of those who believe in a pure dichotomy of physical and experiential
Pseudo-Proof of above proposition:
Explanations of why things happen is the process of assigning causes to particular effects. On one side you have a cause on the other you have an effect. But that one thing causes another is often clear, especially at a high level.
If you get pricked and you feel the prick, the prick was the cause of the feeling.
You can delve deeper. The prick caused an electrical impulse to be sent down your nerve issue to the brain which in turn caused your feeling of the prick.
You can delve deeper still, but I don't know as much about this as a cognitive scientist would. One could imagine that electrical impulses travel along the nerve tissue to the brain where it triggers a particular pattern of brain-cell firing, which in turn causes
In this way a digraph of cause and effect can be created. Note that any edge of the digraph has two vertices connected to it. The vertices of the digraph are phenomenon, some of which you call "physical" and the rest of which you call "experiential" (if you believe in the pure dichotomy).
Now when you have a deeper explanation between cause and effect you replace an edge with a digraph of phenomena of it's own where there is at least one path from the original cause phenomenon to the original effect phenomenon.
This deeper explanation is once again a digraph of phenomenon, some of which you call physical, the rest of which you call experiential.
So note, in every cause-effect explanation (digraph of phenomenon) an edge between the physical and experiential represents the same "gap" as there was originally (the gap between one physical phenomenon and one experiential one)
Note that in the above proof, I did not at all rely on the nature of consciousness. All I relied upon was the nature of cause-effect explanation and the fact that there was a pure dichotomy between "physical" and "experiential."
Replace "physical" and "experiential" with "springleboinger" and "nutsaphim", as long as the two types of phenomenon are two sides of a pure dichotomy, you will always have a gap. That is why I keep saying the Hard Problem is different from the Soft Problem only due to semantics.
I don't believe in the pure dichotomy between physical and experiential. I personally think of software as being neither physical nor experiential, and the things that the Japanese read out of people's minds to be both.