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Consciousness and the World

Brian O'Shaughnessy

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256723
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598135 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199256721.001.0001
Consciousness and the World

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This book presents a theory of consciousness, one of the most fascinating but puzzling aspects of human existence. It investigates what consciousness is and how it engages, through perception, with the world. Whatever mystery there may be about origins of consciousness, this book suggests that there is no mystery about what it is. It is the book's contention that consciousness consists in a closely knit complex of occurrent mental phenomena and powers with thinking and self-knowledge at the centre — and nothing else. The book proceeds to give a philosophical elucidation of its nature, analysing it into its constituent psychological parts. It argues that consciousness has a determinate character as an internal but world-oriented phenomenon, and that there exist logically necessary and sufficient conditions for its presence. Though consciousness is an internal state, perception is its very foundation, being the source of the material with which the mind develops, and essential to the processes whereby it does so. The book continues with an extended summary of the phenomena of perception and attention, examining their their component elements and their relations with consciousness and with the world. It demonstrates how close to the heart of consciousness is perception, envisaged already in the very concept. Perception is portrayed as a journey of the attention from the raw date of the senses outwards into physical reality, The different modes of sensory perception are analysed in turn, to give a full picture of how the mind opens out onto its environment and assembles for itself a representation of outer reality. So it is that the gap is closed between the mental and physical domains, and the epistemological basis of mind is established.

Keywords: perception; origins of consciousness; mental phenomena; self-knowledge; world-oriented phenomenon; attention

Book.  714 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Consciousness and the World

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The Experience in Consciousness and the World

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The Anatomy of Consciousness in Consciousness and the World

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Self‐Consciousness and Self‐Knowledge in Consciousness and the World

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‘Translucence’ in Consciousness and the World

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Consciousness and the Mental Will in Consciousness and the World

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Interiority and Thinking in Consciousness and the World

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The Attention in Consciousness and the World

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The Attention and Perception (1) in Consciousness and the World

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