Consciousness as a Process for Explaining Behavior: A Theoretical Outline

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The purpose of the article is to propose an outline of a new methodological theory for psychological explanations. Since (a) there is still no theory that explains how consciousness is produced from neurophysiological processes in the brain, and (b) a large part of behavior is endowed with consciousness, the following demand arises. One has to explain behavior with the aid of two types of explanations: mentalistic (based on conscious states and processes) and mechanistic (based on concepts used in the sciences). To realize this methodological requirement, the article develops a theoretical approach based on: (1) a mentalistic model of explanation, the {motivation, belief}; (2) a method that suggests which explanatory model to use: mentalistic or mechanistic, given a particular behavior; and (3) a theory that explains how a non-conscious state changes into a conscious one and vice versa. This theory is required to explain how concepts such as will/belief used by the mentalistic model of explanation are endowed with consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-132
Number of pages22
JournalWorld Futures
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Cognitive systems
  • consciousness
  • explanation
  • mental states
  • psychological theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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