Balmer, Adam Lee (2019) The consciousness science paradox. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis argues that there are two claims we can persuasively make about consciousness. The first is that we should be able to identify consciousness through the sort of empirical observation characteristic of standard scientific practices. The second is that we cannot identify consciousness through empirical means. Both of these claims are defended, with the first being established by reference largely to the problems of accounting for our capacity to reliably report our conscious experiences, and the latter being established by showing how scientific evidence cannot be used to tell us the truth or falsehood of claims about consciousness without making a priori assumptions that undermine the very prospect of a scientific approach to the study of consciousness. The paradox arising as a result of these apparently contradicting claims is shown not to be a consequence of a particular perspective in philosophy of science or philosophy of mind as, when a variety of perspectives in both areas are surveyed, none are shown to avoid the problem without running into similar difficulties. I conclude by providing a diagnosis of the philosophical roots of the paradox.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF309 Consciousness. Cognition. Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 09:53
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 09:53
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6507

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