NPR

Can Consciousness In Brain-Injured Patients Be Restored?

Facing unresponsive brain-injury victims is a real-world example of the fact that we are locked out of the minds of others — but new research shows promise in restoring consciousness, says Alva Noë.
Source: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Philosophers have long worried whether it is ever really possible to know how things are, internally, with another.

After all, we are confined to the external — to mere behavior, or perhaps to behavior plus measurements of brain activity. But the thoughts, feelings, images, sensations of another person, these are always hidden from our direct inspection.

The situation of doctors facing unresponsive victims of brain injury is a terrifying

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