The “consciousness wars” explained in Nature

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Story Ideas | 0 comments

January 2024

An article in journal Nature takes a broad view of the intensifying battle among neuroscientists about the nature of consciousness. The piece is a comprehensive review of the theories that are in vogue in the mainstream physicalist camp.

It also describes a new type of study that has been devised to test the theories against each other in the hope that those with the most flaws will successively be discarded: adversarial collaboration.

Five such collaborations have been launched by the John Templeton Foundation, a charity that funds research into topics such as spirituality, polarization and religion.

One of the five collaborations, led by neuroscientist Lucia Melloni, pits the so-called Integrated Information Theory (IIT) against another called GNWT (see also this post).

Notably, none of the theories that posit that consciousness is nonphysical and precedes matter are present in the review. “Researchers have dozens of theories for how the brain produces an individual’s subjective experience”, reads the caption of a graph attached to the article.

For more background on the topic, see our brief Covering Consciousness.

Anders Bolling

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