Never Mind the Gap: Neurophenomenology, Radical Enactivism and the Hard Problem of Consciousness
Kirchhoff (Michael D.) & Hutto (Daniel D.)
Source: Retrieved from; accessed 06/08/15
Paper - Abstract

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Authors’ Abstract

  1. There is much to admire in the practical approach to the science of consciousness that neurophenomenology advocates. Even so, this paper argues, the metaphysical commitments of the enterprise require a firmer foundation.
  2. The root problem is that neurophenomenology, as classically formulated by Varela (1996), endorses a form of non-reductionism that, despite its ambitions, assumes rather than dissolves the hard problem of consciousness.
  3. We expose that neurophenomenology is not a natural solution to that problem. We defend the view that whatever else neurophenomenology might achieve it cannot close the gap between the phenomenal and the physical if there is no such gap to close.
  4. Building on radical enactive and embodied approaches to cognitive science that deny that the phenomenal and the physical are metaphysically distinct (Hutto and Myin 2013), this paper concludes by discussing how neurophenomenology might be reformulated under the auspices of a radically enactive and embodied account of cognition.


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