The Anatomy of Consciousness

Brian O'Shaughnessy

in Consciousness and the World

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256723
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598135 | DOI:
The Anatomy of Consciousness

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The topic is the state of wakeful consciousness. Of what kind is this state? It is the pre‐eminent and ‘founding father’–species of the genus, state of consciousness, all other species (sleep etc.) being privative derivatives from the original. Consciousness, which is endowed with necessary properties, is constituted‐by rather than the cause‐of its necessary properties. These last include the negative properties of lacking an intentional object, of not being the perception of anything, and of being inexperiencable, together with the following positive properties: encompassing experience, accessibility of the perceptual attention, suitable mode of belief‐formation, obligatory mental activeness together with immediate acquaintance with past and future, and conditional availability of the bodily will. This is a characterization of the consciousness of both rational and non‐rational animals.

Keywords: belief; consciousness; intentional object; perception; perceptual attention; rational animal; state of consciousness; the will; time

Chapter.  17613 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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