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Hard to See the Problem?

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I argue that the hard problem of consciousness should be viewed from the perspective of the philosophy of science. In this context, the hard problem can be reformulated as a serious anomaly for the currently dominating research programme in the cognitive neurosciences. I cite empirical evidence from dream research to argue that for this research programme, consciousness is a phenomenon located inside the brain, but for whose constitution no plausible (or even possible) underlying constitutive mechanisms can at the moment be pointed out. Evidence from dream research demonstrates the anomaly in a particularly clear and challenging form, and the empirical facts of dreaming also demonstrate that externalist, embodied, and enactive explanations of consciousness will not be able to solve the problem.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland; School of Bioscience, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Sk√∂vde, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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