David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (3):3-23 (2001)
If we assume that consciousness is a natural biological phenomenon in the brain, should we expect the current brain sensing and imaging methods to somehow ‘discover’ consciousness? The answer depends on the following points: What kind of level of biological organization do we assume consciousness to be? What would count as the discovery of this level? What are the levels of organization from which the currently available research instruments pick signals and acquire data? Single-cell recordings, PET, fMRI, EEG and MEG pick different types of signals from different levels of organization in the brain. However, it seems they do not manage to pick signals that would allow the direct visualization and reconstruction of the higher levels of electrophysiological organization that are crucial for the empirical discovery and theoretical explanation of consciousness. The message of the present paper is twofold: On the one hand, we should be aware of the practical limitations of the currently available methods of cognitive neuroscience and not read too much into the images produced by them. On the other hand, the present limitations could be overcome by more sophisticated methods in the future. Therefore, contrary to what several philosophers have argued, the empirical discovery of consciousness in the brain is not impossible in principle
|Keywords||Biology Brain Consciousness Empiricism Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Alexander A. Fingelkurts, Andrew A. Fingelkurts, Sergio Bagnato, Cristina Boccagni & Giuseppe Galardi (2012). EEG Oscillatory States as Neuro-Phenomenology of Consciousness as Revealed From Patients in Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):149-169.
Kathinka Evers & Mariano Sigman (2013). Possibilities and Limits of Mind-Reading: A Neurophilosophical Perspective. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):887-897.
Similar books and articles
Jean E. Burns (1996). The Possibility of Empirical Test of Hypotheses About Consciousness. In S. R. Hameroff, A. W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Towards a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press. 739--742.
Christopher D. Frith (2001). Commentary on Revonsuo's Can Functional Brain Imaging Discover Consciousness in the Brain?. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (3):30.
Antti Revonsuo (2001). Imaging Consciousness: Can Cognitive Neuroscience Discover Visual Awareness in the Brain? In Paavo Pylkkanen & Tere Vaden (eds.), Dimensions of Conscious Experience. John Benjamins. 37--101.
James Bogen (2002). Epistemological Custard Pies From Functional Brain Imaging. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):S59-S71.
John C. Eccles (1974). Cerebral Activity and Consciousness. In F. Ayala & T. Dobzhansky (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. University of California Press. 87.
Gregory S. Berns (2003). Neural Game Theory and the Search for Rational Agents in the Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):155-156.
E. Roy John (2002). The Neurophysics of Consciousness. Brain Research Reviews 39 (1):1-28.
John R. Searle (1995). Consciousness, the Brain and the Connection Principle: A Reply. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):217-232.
Geraint Rees (2001). Can Philosophy Discover Consciousness in the Brain? Commentary on Revonsuo's Can Functional Brain Imaging Discover Consciousness in the Brain?. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (3):34-38.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads60 ( #30,981 of 1,410,536 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #178,988 of 1,410,536 )
How can I increase my downloads?