Chapter

Can Science Know When You're Conscious?

Alvin I. Goldman

in Pathways to Knowledge

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138795
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833252 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195138791.003.0006
 Can Science Know When You're Conscious?

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Consciousness researchers commonly rely on their subjects’ verbal reports to determine their conscious states. Is this defensible in the conduct of science? Attempts might be made to rationalize the reliance on verbal reports by appealing to higher‐order thought or functionalist approaches to consciousness, but these are rejected. A third approach is defended, based on subjects’ introspective capacities. Admittedly, the reliability of introspection cannot be independently validated, but an independent validation requirement is too restrictive for an epistemologically “basic” method.

Keywords: consciousness; epistemology; functionalism; higher‐order thought; introspection; verbal report

Chapter.  10983 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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