Is phenomenal consciousness a problem for the brain sciences?

Phenomenal consciousness poses a puzzle for philosophy of science. This arises from two facts: It is common for philosophers (and some scientists) to take its existence to be phenomenologically obvious and yet modern science arguably has little (if anything) to say about it. And, this despite 20 years of work targeting the phenomenon in what I will refer to as the new science of consciousness. How has such a supposedly evident part of our world remained beyond our scientific understanding? One possibility is that there is no such phenomenon. This possibility, however, is undercut by the claim that phenomenal consciousness is phenomenologically obvious. In this paper I argue that this claim is mistaken. Distinguishing between the qualities we are phenomenologically aware of and the classification of those qualities as being mental (as qualia), I present both empirical evidence and theoretical reasons to deny that the latter is phenomenologically obvious.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,702
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Sidestepping the Semantics of “Consciousness”.Michael V. Antony - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2):289-290.
Phenomenal Consciousness and What It's Like.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):156--57.
Binding and the Phenomenal Unity of Consciousness.Antti Revonsuo - 1999 - Consciousness and Cognition 8 (2):173-85.
Consciousness: The Transcendalist Manifesto.Mark Rowlands - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):205-21.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

3 ( #691,375 of 2,158,463 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #132,912 of 2,158,463 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums