This is an abstract version of the idea of scientific method. You percieve (Detection, not understanding). }Experiment You understand patterns from your perceptions. } Theory Sentience: The ability to perceive. You can of course do experiments on your own brain and find it's properties, notice that the same occurs in other people's brains, logically assume that they are sentient aswell and assume you have found the cause of sentience. Though it would be impossible to find out how these properties cause you to be sentient. Scientific method cannot explain how the properties of sentience cause sentience to occur. This is like asking how the properties of gravity cause gravity to occur etc etc. Except in this situation it is more relevant and cannot be ignored. Hence a definition for this flaw in scientific method. You cannot understand perception , you can only understand patterns based on perceptions. And as sentience is the ability to perceive and not a pattern, it cannot be understood using scientific method. I believe there may be an error in my judging of sentience as not being a pattern. Though as I am sure you have gatherred, sentience can be seen as a pattern and a perception, due to the fact that the process of perception and therefore being sentient is different from whatever cause of sentience, scientific method may uncover.