Awareness is a surprisingly neglected topic, both in science and in our entire philosophical culture, says philosopher John Searle in his TED talk from May 2013.
Awareness is the foundation of all human life, and hostility towards consciousness as a serious research topic is the result of two factors, continue Searle.
We have on one side the religious dualism. The dualism tells us that consciousness is not part of the physical world. It is part of the spirit world. It belongs to the soul. On the other hand we have the scientific materialists. They agree with dualists, although they believe otherwise. Consciousness is neither here not part of the physical world, it is more about a kind of back-end computer program or similar. Whatever does not belong in science awareness at home. Science is objective, consciousness is subjective.
These twin traditions paralyzes us from a better understanding of what consciousness is, Searle concludes. He challenges us to detach ourselves from these two paradigms.