"Searching Past the Mechanics of Perception"

BTG Issue: 
September 1980 | Vol. 15 No. 9
"The deeper scientists probe into the nature of perception, the farther away their subject recedes."

"The basic phenomenon of conscious awareness is the most immediate aspect of our experience, and it is automatically presupposed in all our sensations, feelings, and thought processes. Yet even though consciousness certainly exists and is of central importance to our lives, the current theoretical framework of biological and physical science cannot even refer to consciousness, much less explain it. To see this, let us examine the process of consciousness through the eyes of modern science. Our examination will take us through several levels of successively increasing detail, and at each level we will try to ascertain whether our scientific picture of reality sheds any light on the nature of consciousness. ... As we [will see] ... modern scientific theories cannot explain our direct perception of consciousness, and this failure is sufficient to show that such theories must necessarily be incomplete."

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