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Consciousness from the Outside-In and Inside-Out Perspective

Tina Lindhard


In this paper I adopt a multidisciplinary perspective and the main aim is to increase our understanding of consciousness and to give us an overall view of this multifaceted term. I distinguish between the outside-in and inside-out methodological approach to the study of consciousness and I qualify what I mean by these two terms. The outside-in approach, including the neuroscientific method involving the study and mapping of the brain and psychological approach, which is based on observations of patients in psychotherapy, leads to theories based mainly on our senses or extensions of them and inductive and deduction reasoning. The phenomenological inside-out approach where people study the nature of their own consciousness, involves going below or above the thinking mind guided by intuition. This gives rise to theories based on intuitive insight and experience. Among other things, how different cultures view consciousness is also considered and I point out that whatever metaphysical position we take regarding the origin of consciousness will have an effect on what we consider as ethically permissible conduct in scientific explorations and experiments.

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ISSN: 2153-8212