This is the context:

One of the classic philosophical problems, the problem of other minds—How do you know that anybody has a mind? How do you know who or what has a mind?—is cropping up practically in some ways within the science of consciousness. How do we know that animals are conscious? How do we know that computers are or are not conscious? And in Niko’s work, how do we know that people coming out of coma and some vegetative states are conscious? What we find is that people are very imaginative and creative, and there are techniques that are being developed that, while they don’t solve the philosophical problem, are criteria for consciousness that seem to fit with our normal practices of ascribing consciousness to people in everyday life and elsewhere. There is beginning to be a field of what we might call “the psychology of other minds,” which is what Danny is alluding to, in which the aim is to determine the criteria that ordinary people use for ascribing consciousness. It turns out the criteria for consciousness seem to include things like pain and emotion, and so on. Simply being a thinking thing, without emotion, does not correlate as well with consciousness.

source: The enigma of human consciousness.New York Academy of Sciences.

In the bold sentence, the "as well" makes me confused. I Don't think it means also or too, right? can you explain the meaning of the sentence and the "as well" part"?

My take of it:

simply being a thinking thing, without emotion, does not correlate, as when a thinking thing has emotion, with consciousness.

1 Answer 1


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, correlate is defined in this way:

If two or more facts, numbers, etc. correlate or are correlated, there is a relationship between them

When talking about the facts, numbers, etc, rather than the people doing the correlating, correlate is used intransitively, and the second fact or number is added using the prepositions to or with.

well can be used to indicate the strength of a relationship

I get on well with my neighbours

If you want to say that there is a strong relationship between A and B:

A correlates well with B

If you want to say that the relationship between A and C is not as strong as between A and B

C does not correlate as well [as B does] with A.

In your example,

A = consciousness
B = things like pain and emotion
C = simply being a thinking thing, without emotion

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