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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Consciousness is one of the most elusive phenomena of the natural world. But it is, after all, part of the natural world. It has presumably evolved at some point, as a result of certain natural processes taking place within the causally integrated spatiotemporal system we call Nature. What need is there, then, for a philosophy of consciousness? As a natural phenomenon, should it not submit to theoretical explanation by the natural sciences? What do philosophers have to contribute here? The assumption behind the present volume is that philosophy may have a more significant role to play in shaping our understanding of consciousness; that even a complete science of consciousness may involve certain lacunae calling for philosophical supplementation. The plausibility of this notion depends in part on what one calls ‘a science.’ To bracket verbal issues, we will concern ourselves here with three areas in which the science of consciousness as pursued today leaves certain questions unaddressed. The Introduction’s three sections introduce and discuss these three areas; each serves as a motivating introduction to one of the volume’s three parts.

Keywords: Consciousness, science of consciousness, philosophy of consciousness, phenomenal grounding, physical grounding, psychological grounding

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