Consciousness: A unique scientific problem - Deepstash

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Consciousness: A unique scientific problem

For much of the 20th century, consciousness was not a serious topic for "serious science." That has changed. The problem of consciousness is a scientific dilemma.

For one, consciousness is unobservable. We know consciousness exists through our immediate awareness of our own feelings and experiences. But you can't look in the head of someone else to see their feelings and experiences.

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We have made advances in understanding how the brain works and how it affects human behavior. But no one is able to explain how all this results in feelings, emotions, and experiences.

Panpsychism is the most straightforward theory of how consciousness fits into our scientific story. The view that mind is matter means that even elementary particles show necessary forms of consciousness.

We should not be surprised that our standard scientific method struggles to deal with consciousness. Modern science was designed to exclude consciousness.

The starting point of philosopher Bertrand Rusell and scientist Arthur Eddington was that physical science doesn't really explain what matter it.

Panpsychism is the view that consciousness is a fundamental quality of the physical world. The "new" panpsychism is void of the mystical connotations of previous forms of the view. It describes matter from two perspectives.

When we are dealing with data, we can do experiments to test whether what we observe matches the hypothesis. But we are dealing with the unobservable data of consciousness.

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