This is the context:

Paulson: Dave, I want to come back to you. Do you agree with what the rest of the panel, or some of the panelists, is saying, that basically some of these questions are not relevant because science has no handle on some of the larger philosophical questions about consciousness?

Chalmers: I'm not saying that Niko should give up his day job . . . But I do think it is a meaningful question whether jellyfish are conscious, whether or not the discussion goes further. And there is a fact of the matter about it, which maybe we’re not in a position now to understand or describe—maybe not ever. However, there may be ways eventually to get at this through scientific methods, if indirectly.

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

What is the meaning of "if indirectly" in this context? And can you explain what is the meaning of "if" when it comes in a situation like this?

1 Answer 1


Chalmers says that we may eventually obtain an answer to the question by using scientific methods, but it may be that we only obtain it indirectly.

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