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Opinion Consciousness cannot be separated from

By Michael A. Cohen and Daniel C. Dennett

Abstract

Numerous theories of consciousness hold that there are separate neural correlates of conscious experience and cognitive function, aligning with the assumption that there are ‘hard ’ and ‘easy ’ problems of consciousness. 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

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.352.4220
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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