The project of neurophenomenology, initiated by Francisco Varela, aims at establishing correlations between descriptions of lived experience (as elicited by the explicitation interview technique) and brain states (as measured with increasing precision and detail by the new brain imaging techniques). However, on their own, such correlation aggravates rather than solve Chalmers’ “hard problem”–how can a neuronal state be a state of consciousness? The question that arises is thus how to interpret such correlations. I will argue that this requires putting the brain in the body of an animal living in the world. Epistemologically, this amounts to putting neuroscience in the context of cognitive science (Varela’s concept of enaction) and cognitive science in the context of biology (Maturana and Varela’s concept of autopoïesis).
Part of the book: Behavioral Neuroscience