Topic: Theories of Consciousness

Camp: Agreement / main idea of consciousness

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The basic idea is that phenomenally conscious mental states themselves possess higher-order representational contents that represent the states themselves (Kriegel 2009). The main merit of this view is that it does not duplicate mental states: the contents are part of the relevant conscious states.The term “consciousness” is very often, though not always, interchangeable with the term “awareness,” which is more colloquial to many ears. We say things like “are you aware that …” often. Sometimes we say “have you noticed that … ?” to express similar thoughts, and this indicates a close connection between consciousness (awareness) and attention (noticing), which we will come back to later in this chapter. Ned Block, one of the key figures in this area, provides a useful characterization of what he calls “phenomenal consciousness.” For him, phenomenal consciousness is experience. Experience covers perceptions, e.g., when we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, we typically have experiences, such as seeing colors and smelling odors. It also covers bodily awareness, e.g., we typically have experiences of our own bodily temperature and positions of limbs. Consciousness is primarily about this experiential aspect of our mental lives.

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Topic Name : Theories of Consciousness
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Camp Name : main idea of consciousness
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