The Composition of Consciousness

Jonardon Ganeri

in The Self

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652365
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740718 | DOI:
The Composition of Consciousness

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There are two ways to account for the nature of phenomenologically presented ownership constitutive of the “immersed” self. One sees it as fundamentally a relationship of bodily ownership: the theory of a core self as bodily feeling of presence to oneself is a bodily account of immersion. Other accounts develop an analysis out of a more detailed study of the structure of self‐consciousness and provide a subjective rather than a bodily account of immersion. This chapter examines several subjective accounts of this sort. It is a key thesis of Buddhist philosophy of mind that there are proto‐intentional psychological processes through the joint operation of which intentional experience is constituted. The psychologically primitive processes belong individually to a level beneath that of intentionality. Proto‐cognitive and proto‐affective processes combine to constitute states of conscious intentional experience, experience which presents the world as one in which attention falls on objects which are perceptually registered as falling under schematic stereotypes, as organised in a hodological appraisal space of affordance and obstacle, in ways that shape the diachronic flow by readying for future experience. The great elegance and attraction of the theory lies in the fact that simultaneously it recognises the irreducibility of the phenomenal character of experience, it admits the joint contribution of sensation and conceptualisation in the constitution of experience, it acknowledges that experience is, as it were, saturated with affect, that appraisal is built into the fabric of experience, it maintains that every experience has, as a basic ingredient, a capacity or tendency to combine in various ways with various others, and it makes the attention intrinsic to experience.

Keywords: ownership; immersed self; registering; appraising; stereotyping; readying; attending

Chapter.  7592 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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