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Is consciousness a brain process?

  • U. T. Place
Chapter
Part of the Controversies in Philosophy book series (COIPHIL)

Abstract

The thesis that consciousness is a process in the brain is put forward as a reasonable scientific hypothesis, not to be dismissed on logical grounds alone. The conditions under which two sets of observations are treated as observations of the same process, rather than as observations of two independent correlated processes, are discussed. It is suggested that we can identify consciousness with a given pattern of brain activity, if we can explain the subject’s introspective observations by reference to the brain processes with which they are correlated. It is argued that the problem of providing a physiological explanation of introspective observations is made to seem more difficult than it really is by the ‘phenomenological fallacy’, the mistaken idea that descriptions of the appearances of things are descriptions of the actual state of affairs in a mysterious internal environment.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • U. T. Place

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