Consciousness as a natural kind and the methodological puzzle of consciousness

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A new research programme conceives of consciousness as a natural kind. One proposed virtue of this approach is that it can help resolve the methodological puzzle of consciousness, which involves distinguishing consciousness from cognitive access. The present paper raises a novel problem for this approach. The problem is rooted in the fact that we may have misclassified episodes of consciousness as not episodes of consciousness. I argue that conceiving of consciousness as a natural kind cannot distinguish consciousness from cognitive access.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMind & Language
Early online date7 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2022


  • cognitive access
  • consciousness
  • global workspace theory
  • methodological puzzle
  • natural kinds
  • recurrent processing


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