Consciousness cannot be separated from function

Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):358--364 (2011)
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Abstract

Here, we argue that any neurobiological theory based on an experience/function division cannot be empirically confirmed or falsified and is thus outside the scope of science. A ‘perfect experiment’ illustrates this point, highlighting the unbreachable boundaries of the scientific study of consciousness. We describe a more nuanced notion of cognitive access that captures personal experience without positing the existence of inaccessible conscious states. Finally, we discuss the criteria necessary for forming and testing a falsifiable theory of consciousness

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Citations of this work

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Perceptual Pluralism.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2019 - Noûs 54 (4):807-838.
Rich conscious perception outside focal attention.Ned Block - 2014 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (9):445-447.
The Prospects of Artificial Consciousness: Ethical Dimensions and Concerns.Elisabeth Hildt - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 14 (2):58-71.
A Higher-Order Theory of Emotional Consciousness.Joseph LeDoux & Richard Brown - 2017 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (10):E2016-E2025.

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References found in this work

What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness.J. Kevin O’Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.

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