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Are Current Philosophical Theories of Consciousness Useful to Neuroscientists?

Philip R. Sullivan
Behavior and Philosophy
Vol. 34 (2006), pp. 59-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27759520
Page Count: 12
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Are Current Philosophical Theories of Consciousness Useful to Neuroscientists?
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Abstract

Two radically different families of theory currently compete for acceptance among theorists of human consciousness. The majority of theorists believe that the human brain somehow causes consciousness, but a significant minority holds that how the brain would cause this property is not only currently incomprehensible, but unlikely to become comprehensible despite continuing advances in brain science. Some of these latter theorists hold an alternate view that consciousness may well be one of the fundamentals in nature, and that the extremely complex functional systems of the human brain inform this basic property, giving rise to our specifically human variety thereof. If these contesting families of theory are to be useful to neuroscientists, testable notions flowing from these theories need to be developed.

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