A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind by Robert A. Burton, 2013

skeptics-guide-to-the-mindOur Superscanner can only record the presence of an unconsciously mediated intention in one of two ways—as part of the brain’s baseline activity, or as a discrete neural pattern that stand out from the baseline.  If the former, it won’t be detectable.  If the latter, we won’t be able to recognize the pattern for what it is (we have neither objective nor descriptive access to unconscious intentions).  Either way, unconscious intention is beyond the reach of neuroscientific inquiry.  145

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Burton argues that there are inherent limits to what humans can learn from neuroscience.  It’s not a lack of technology or scientific creativity that’s holding us back—the nature of consciousness, especially the secretive nature of the unconsciousness mind, will forever leave some questions about the mind outside of the domain of empirical science.

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