SOME (PHILOSOPHICAL) PROBLEMS FOR CONSCIOUSNESS AS A NEURAL CAPACITY FOR OBJECTIVITY
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This paper is a critical appraisal of the most recent attempt from cognitive science in general, developmental and evolutionary biology in particular, to understand the nature and mechanisms underlying consciousness as proposed by Anton J.M. Dijker. The proposal, briefly stated, is to view consciousness as a neural capacity for objectivity. What makes the problem of consciousness philosophically and scientifically challenging may be stated as follows: If consciousness has the first-person ontology and our best scientific theories have the third-person ontology, how can we come up with a satisfactory theory? Moreover, if the reduction of one to the other is impossible, what are we supposed to do? By neglecting what Chalmers calls the “hard problem” of consciousness, Dijker’s proposal seems unable to respond to the foregoing questions, and these questions, I maintain, are the very motivations that most of us have when we inquire about consciousness.
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