Conferences, Fourth International Conference "SCIENCE AND SCIENTIST – 2016"

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The Puzzle of Experiential Primacy and Consciousness
Sangeetha Menon, Ph.D.

Date: 2016-08-27 03:00 PM – 03:30 PM
Last modified: 2016-08-17

Abstract


The major epistemological worry faced by the empirical analyst, the philosopher and the psychologist is based on the central feature of ‘consciousness’ – ‘experience’. This worry is commonly described as how to have a theoretical explanation for the mutual influence of neural events and subjective experiences and which one (neural events/subjective experience) is the defining characteristic of consciousness. Interestingly, any attempt to understand ‘experience’, such as simple physical pain or much complex psychological pain, will have to cross the epistemological barriers of hierarchies and causal relationships, demanding a non-linear path. The classical description of consciousness as ‘unitary’ has even evolved, to accommodate the questions emerging in interdisciplinary dialogues, to present the term ‘self’ which was once considered metaphysical, but very much available for scientific discussion today. The epistemological transition, however implicit it is, is from a third-person perspective to a first-person perspective.

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