ConsciousnessFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is variously defined as
the executive control system of themind
It is anumbrella termthat may refer to a variety of mental phenomena.
Although humans realize what everyday experiencesare, consciousness refuses to be defined, philosophers note (e.g. John Searle in
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
"Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the mostfamiliar and most mysterious aspect of our lives." ²Schneider andVelmans, 2007
Consciousness in medicine (e.g., anesthesiology) is assessed by observing a patient's alertness and responsiveness, and can be seen asa continuum of states ranging from alert, oriented to time and place, and communicative, through disorientation, then delirium, thenloss of any meaningful communication, and ending with loss of movement in response to painful stimulation.
Consciousness in psychology and philosophy has four characteristics: subjectivity, change, continuity and selectivity.
Intentionality or aboutness (that consciousness is about something) has also been suggested by philosopher Franz Brentano. However,within the philosophy of mind there is no consensus on whether intentionality is a requirement for consciousness.
Consciousness is the subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology,neuroscience,cognitive science,cognitive
neuroscienceandartificial intelligence. Issues of practical concern include how the presence of consciousness can be assessed in
severely ill or comatose people;
whether non-human consciousness exists and if so how it can be measured; at what point infetaldevelopmentconsciousness begins; and whether computerscan achieve a conscious state.
2 Philosophical approaches
2.1 Phenomenal and access consciousness
2.2 The description and location of phenomenal consciousness
2.3 Philosophical criticisms
2.4 Consciousness and language
3 Scientific approaches
3.1 Cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience
3.2 Experimental philosophy
3.3 Evolutionary psychology
3.3.1 Functions of Consciousness
7 See also
7.1 Cognitive science
7.3 Physical hypotheses about consciousness
7.5 Sociology and Socio-linguistics