What is consciousness like for a conscious being?
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe thesis is concerned with consciousness. The suggested approach is phenomenological but the implied methodology is complicated and of necessity devious. It is a matter for display, examples rather than demonstrations or proof. The subject (the 'I', not talk of 'I') must admit of access but various approaches have their difficulties. Initially I argue that the notion of access to the subject is explored by invoking the category of experience. In this context I appeal, albeit in subordinate fashion, to standard idiom. The experiential "phenomenal" is introduced by contrasting the views of Nagel and Dennett. Inclining to the philosophical motives of the former, I attempt to characterize experience in terms of what it is like to be a subject. I cite the well-worn but ill-used topic of dreams to highlight the issue of the connection between being conscious and being awake. In order that I clarify what is essential to consciousness, in my analysis of the conscious state I try, in opposition to Ryle, to show that his talk of episodes and dispositions will not bear the theoretic burden. The central portion of my thesis is devoted to displaying where the Rylean categories fail and why what I characterize as "middleground" is essential. I give in this regard a rendition of concentrating (heeding, caring, attending, inter alia) which is intended to people a Rylean wasteland with subjects knowing themselves in situations as themselves as presented to themselves. Finally, I stated the possibilities for reflexive consciousness -- the being for a subject to a subject -- in contexts relating both to phenomenology and fringe areas of psychology.
Bibliography: p. 172-174.
CitationLee, R. A. (1984). What is consciousness like for a conscious being? (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24311
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.