Human Consciousness

Carmen N. Nichols sarnicol at reading.ac.uk
Sun May 21 07:41:11 EST 1995



On Sat, 20 May 1995, Commonwealth Scientific wrote:

> You may wish to start with a basic definition of human consciousness...  

> 
> On Sat, 20 May 1995, Alex Lefcourt wrote:
> 
> > I have a paper to do on Human Consciousness and it's involvement with the
> > brain.  The parts of the brain involved, the chemicals too.  Also the
> > evolution of consciousness, what were it's advantages for our ancestors.
> > Thank you Very much for all your help.
> > 
> >                                 Alex Lefcourt   (lefty101 at netcom.com)
> > 
 
It appears that you have been given a horrific paper!  I do not think 
there is a basic definition of consciousness.  I think there is a fairly 
good arguement that consciousness is a metaphysical fallacy created 
through our ability for subjective thought.  I think what does exist is 
self-consciousness which is an awareness of thought through the awareness 
of other individuals i.e. other self-conscious beings.  Without a 
framework of others, how can we have a concept of what it is to be 
self-conscious?

I appreciate that for a paper it is probably unwise to get too bogged 
down in philosophical meanderings but an excellent basic introduction to 
concepts of body and mind is Stephen Priest's 'Theories of the Mind'.  
This gives a good insight into many schools of thought.

Martin



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