Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository


By Prof Max Velmans


Modern consciousness studies are in a healthy state, with many progressive empirical programmes in cognitive science, neuroscience and related sciences, using relatively conventional third-person research methods. However not all the problems of consciousness can be resolved in this way. These problems may be grouped into problems that require empirical advance, those that require theoretical advance, and those that require a re-examination of some of our pre-theoretical assumptions. I give examples of these, and focus on two problems—what consciousness is, and what consciousness does—that require all three. In this, careful attention to conscious phenomenology and finding an appropriate way to relate first-person evidence to third-person evidence appears to be central to progress. But we may also need to re-examine what we take to be “natural facts” about the world, and how we can know them. The same appears to be true for a trans-cultural understanding of consciousness that combines classical Indian phenomenological methods with the third-person methods of Western science

Topics: Neuropsychology, Cognitive Psychology, Philosophy of Mind
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2006). Benjamin Libet's work on the neuroscience of free will.
  2. (1967). Biological foundations of language,
  3. (1991). Consciousness Explained,
  4. (2006). Dualism, reductionism, and reflexive monism.
  5. (1995). Facing up to the problems of consciousness.
  6. (2007). Heterophenomenology versus critical phenomenology. doi
  7. (1991). How We Think,
  8. (1994). The Astonishing Hypothesis: The scientific search for the soul,
  9. (2006). the Cognitive Sciences doi
  10. (2006). The global workspace theory of consciousness.
  11. (1980). The Human Psyche,
  12. (1992). The Psychology of Consciousness,
  13. (1974). What it is it like to be a bat?’ Philosophical Review 83:435-451.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.