Read e-book online An Ontology of Consciousness PDF

By Ralph Ellis (auth.)

ISBN-10: 9048182980

ISBN-13: 9789048182985

ISBN-10: 9401707154

ISBN-13: 9789401707152

The item of this research is to discover a coherent theoretical method of 3 difficulties which seem to interrelate in complicated methods: (1) what's the ontological prestige of awareness? (2) How can there be 'un­ conscious,' 'prereflective' or 'self-alienated' cognizance? And (3) Is there a 'self' or 'ego' shaped through the interrelation of extra simple states of attention? the incentive for combining any such variety of inauspicious questions is that we frequently research extra via taking a look at interrelations of difficulties than lets via viewing them in simple terms in isola­ tion. the 3 questions posed the following have emerged as specially prob­ lematic within the context of 20th century philosophy. 1. The query of the ontological prestige of attention The query 'What is consciousness?' is without doubt one of the so much puzzling in philosophy-so complicated that many were inspired to continue as if attention didn't exist. If William James was once talking rhetorically while he acknowledged "Consciousness doesn't exist," 1 many behaviorists of the new prior weren't. 2 James intended in basic terms to suggest that cognizance isn't an independently present soul-substance, alongside­ part actual components. He didn't suggest that we don't particularly 'have' awareness, and he didn't offer ultimate solution for the matter of the causal interrelations among attention and the actual realm (e. g. , our bodies). Many contemporary philosophers and psychologists, in spite of the fact that, try and continue as if those difficulties didn't exist.

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D. Laing relies heavily on this method, first exploring the meaning of pure possibilities for consciousness and then attempting to apply what he has learned through such analysis to his particular cases. 30 And Needleman and Binswanger use it in the work by those authors previously cited. Husserl, however, cautions psychologists against its use; we shall see why in a moment. We shall also see that experiential observation on the part of both the researcher and the subject of the research are subject to the same validational problems encountered by empirical psychology.

But if it is true that strict behaviorism is an inadequate approach to some learning phenomena, and therefore that some way must again be sought to study consciousness and cognition, then it appears that some information regarding consciousness must seriously be sought from philosophy. , what kind of entity or function it is. Once this ontological question has been resolved adequately, it will turn out that the solution implies some interesting consequences which bear crucially upon our other questions about consciousness, notably the enigma of the ontological status of the self, and the interrelated problems of 'prereflective' consciousness and selfalienation.

Such an experiment would leave us, in fact, with almost all the theoretical alternatives mentioned in our introduction. Only parallelism would be ruled out. Even if we grant that consciousness is a 'pattern of brain activity,' it would still be perfectly possible to entertain the theories of interactionism, epiphenomenalism, nomological equivalence, or a process-substratum model which regards consciousness as a process which takes physiological events as its substratum, yet is not equivalent with this substratum.

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An Ontology of Consciousness by Ralph Ellis (auth.)


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