Consciousness as a concrete physical phenomenon

A1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift (referentgranskad)

Interna författare/redaktörer

Publikationens författare: Jussi Jylkkä, Henry Railo
Publiceringsår: 2019
Tidskrift: Consciousness and Cognition
Volym: 74


The typical empirical approach to studying consciousness holds that we can only observe the neural correlates of experiences, not the experiences themselves. In this paper we argue, in contrast, that experiences are concrete physical phenomena that can causally interact with other phenomena, including observers. Hence, experiences can be observed and scientifically modelled. We propose that the epistemic gap between an experience and a scientific model of its neural mechanisms stems from the fact that the model is merely a theoretical construct based on observations, and distinct from the concrete phenomenon it models, namely the experience itself. In this sense, there is a gap between any natural phenomenon and its scientific model. On this approach, a neuroscientific theory of the constitutive mechanisms of an experience is literally a model of the subjective experience itself. We argue that this metatheoretical framework provides a solid basis for the empirical study of consciousness.

Senast uppdaterad 2020-27-09 vid 03:07

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