February 28, 2018 // By Matthew Owen

Recently, I contributed a chapter entitled ‘Neural Correlates of Consciousness and the Nature of the Mind’ to Mihretu Guta’s volume Consciousness and the Ontology of Properties, forthcoming from Routledge.

It is often thought that contemporary neuroscience provides strong evidence for physicalism that nullifies dualism. The principal data is neural correlates of consciousness (for brevity NCC). In this chapter I argue that NCC are neutral visà-vis physicalist and dualist views of the mind. First I clarify what NCC are and how neuroscientists identify them. Subsequently I discuss what NCC entail and highlight the need for philosophical argumentation in order to conclude that physicalism is true by appealing to NCC. Lastly, the simplicity argument for physicalism that appeals to NCC is presented, analyzed, and found wanting.

For those interested in more accessible material on this topic that’s well suited for undergraduate students, I have also written a popular article on this topic for the Blog of the American Philosophical Association.


Feature image credit: Brain wireframe by Jezper via Adobe Stock.