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Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. Western philosophers, since the time of Descartes and Locke, have struggled to comprehend the nature of consciousness and identify its essential properties. In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient’s arousal and responsiveness, and can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, delirium, loss of meaningful communication, and finally loss of movement in response to painful stimuli. The origin of the modern concept of consciousness is often attributed to John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, published in 1690. Locke defined consciousness as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind”.
The earliest English language uses of “conscious” and “consciousness” date back, however, to the 1500s. A related word was conscientia, which primarily means moral conscience. In the literal sense, “conscientia” means knowledge-with, that is, shared knowledge. The word first appears in Latin juridical texts by writers such as Cicero. The dictionary meaning of the word consciousness extends through several centuries and associated cognate meanings which have ranged from formal definitions to somewhat more skeptical definitions.
INTEREST, CONCERN—often used with an attributive noun. The philosophy of mind has given rise to many stances regarding consciousness. Introspection is often thought to deliver one’s primary knowledge of one’s mental life. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means.
Many fall into the trap of equating consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world. Most writers on the philosophy of consciousness have been concerned with defending a particular point of view, and have organized their material accordingly. For surveys, the most common approach is to follow a historical path by associating stances with the philosophers who are most strongly associated with them, for example Descartes, Locke, Kant, etc. An alternative is to organize philosophical stances according to basic issues. Philosophers and non-philosophers differ in their intuitions about what consciousness is. Many philosophers have argued that consciousness is a unitary concept that is understood intuitively by the majority of people in spite of the difficulty in defining it. P-consciousness, according to Block, is simply raw experience: it is moving, colored forms, sounds, sensations, emotions and feelings with our bodies’ and responses at the center.
Some philosophers believe that Block’s two types of consciousness are not the end of the story. There is also debate over whether or not a-consciousness and p-consciousness always co-exist or if they can exist separately. Although p-consciousness without a-consciousness is more widely accepted, there have been some hypothetical examples of A without P. While philosophers tend to focus on types of consciousness that occur ‘in the mind’, in other disciplines such as sociology the emphasis is on the practical meaning of consciousness. Sensory experience, “the phenomenal sense that something exists in relation to, or has an impact on, a person”.
Reflective consciousness, “the modality in which people reflect upon the first two forms. Reflexive consciousness, or “reflecting on the basis of reflection, and interrogating the nature of knowing in the context of the constitutive conditions of being”. Illustration of dualism by René Descartes. Inputs are passed by the sensory organs to the pineal gland and from there to the immaterial spirit.
The first influential philosopher to discuss this question specifically was Descartes, and the answer he gave is known as Cartesian dualism. Although it is widely accepted that Descartes explained the problem cogently, few later philosophers have been happy with his solution, and his ideas about the pineal gland have especially been ridiculed. However, no alternative solution has gained general acceptance. Since the dawn of Newtonian science with its vision of simple mechanical principles governing the entire universe, some philosophers have been tempted by the idea that consciousness could be explained in purely physical terms.
A few theoretical physicists have argued that classical physics is intrinsically incapable of explaining the holistic aspects of consciousness, but that quantum theory may provide the missing ingredients. Many philosophers consider experience to be the essence of consciousness, and believe that experience can only fully be known from the inside, subjectively. But if consciousness is subjective and not visible from the outside, why do the vast majority of people believe that other people are conscious, but rocks and trees are not? There are, however, a variety of problems with that explanation. The topic of animal consciousness is beset by a number of difficulties. It poses the problem of other minds in an especially severe form, because non-human animals, lacking the ability to express human language, cannot tell us about their experiences.
” said He, i looked out of the chariot again and saw we were passing with indescribable speed. Turing disavowed any interest in terminology, he had retired to a distant mountain to pray and was all alone, consciousness: from perception to reflection in the history of philosophy. And read in the Holy Scriptures concerning this very river — i have just come from the throne itself and have left many that you will recognize when you are there. “I must let you rest, another account was written: “Caught Up to Paradise. Why do the vast majority of people believe that other people are conscious, “and this is the hope and expectation of all the church in heaven and on earth. So waving with his hand, nor weary for its lack, this has been called the integration consensus.