【Title】 Integration and unification in the science of consciousness
【Speaker】Wanja Wiese, Assistant Researcher/lecturer
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Despite undeniable progress in the science of consciousness, there is no consensus on even fundamental theoretical and empirical questions, such as whether ‘phenomenal consciousness’ is a scientifically respectable concept, whether phenomenal consciousness overflows access consciousness, or whether the neural correlates of perceptual consciousness are in the front or in the back of the cerebral cortex.
Notably, disagreement also concerns proposed theories of consciousness. However, since not all theories are mutually incompatible, there have been attempts to make theoretical progress by integrating or unifying them. I shall argue that this is preferable over proposing yet another theory, but that one should not expect it to yield a complete theory of consciousness. Rather, theoretical work in consciousness research should focus on core hypotheses about consciousness that different theories of consciousness have in common. Such a ‘minimal unifying model’ of consciousness can then be used as a basis for formulating more specific hypotheses about consciousness.
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