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Philosophies 2017, 2(4), 26; doi:10.3390/philosophies2040026

Consciousness: A Molecular Perspective

Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich, Clausiusstrasse 49, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract

This perspective examines the role of chemistry and molecular biology for a science of consciousness. Opposed to the consensus view, we argue that the molecular organization of biological systems is key to arrive at a thorough understanding of the dynamics correlated to the phenomenology of consciousness in complex organisms. This is indicated by the fact that the molecular sciences either provide one or more mechanisms directly related to phenomenology or otherwise describe the dynamics of the underlying substrate. In addition, we discuss substrate-independence in information-processing theories of consciousness and the issue of combination in panpsychist theories of consciousness, both from the angle of the molecular sciences. In any case, molecular details matter. View Full-Text
Keywords: consciousness studies; molecular mechanism; substrate independence; supervenience; information-processing theories; panpsychism consciousness studies; molecular mechanism; substrate independence; supervenience; information-processing theories; panpsychism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Prentner, R. Consciousness: A Molecular Perspective. Philosophies 2017, 2, 26.

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