Correlation, causation, constitution

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Why is there need for a philosophy of consciousness, in addition to the science of consciousness? For two reasons: first, as a young science operating as yet under no guiding paradigm, the science of consciousness has been subject to considerable confusion regarding its methodological, conceptual, and philosophical foundations, and it is philosophy’s mandate to address such confusion in an attempt to regiment scientific practice; second, the identification of a neural feature that correlated perfectly with consciousness would still leave open a certain metaphysical question, namely, whether that correlation is indicative of a deeper, more intimate relation between the two? In this paper, we offer an opinionated overview of the philosophy of consciousness as it addresses these two dimensions of consciousness research.


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