Upcoming dialogue with Owen Flanagan, at Northwestern University

Understanding Consciousness: Is Physicalism Enough?

Monday March 4, 2013, at 4pm.

My position statement:

The scientific method gives us no direct and independent access to consciousness itself–no direct access, because third-person observations are always of the behavioral and physiological expressions of consciousness, not consciousness itself; and no independent access because the scientific method itself presupposes consciousness, so we must unavoidably use consciousness to study consciousness. Full recognition of this situation demands that the neuroscience of consciousness include an ineliminable phenomenological component. Some of the phenomenological resources for such a “neurophenomenology” of consciousness can be found in Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist contemplative methods of training the mind.