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Thursday, June 6, 2019

A socio-historical take on the meta-problem of consciousness

Hakwan Lau and Matthias Michel
PsyArXiv Preprints
Last Edited May 21, 2019


Whether consciousness is hard to explain depends on the notion of explanation at play. Importantly, for an explanation to be successful, it is necessary to have a correct understanding of the relevant basic empirical facts (i.e. the explanans). We review socio-historical factors that account for why, as a field, the neuroscience of consciousness has not been particularly successful at getting the basic facts right. And yet, we tend to aim for explanations of an unrealistically and unnecessarily ambitious nature. This discrepancy between ambitious notions of explanations and the relatively poor quality of explanans may account for what Chalmers calls “the meta-problem”.

The paper is here.