The claims of consciousness: A critical survey

Inquiry 30 (December):395-434 (1987)
This article selectively surveys recent work touching consciousness. It discusses some recent arguments and positions with a view to throwing light on a working principle of much influential philosophical psychology, namely that the first?person point of view is theoretically redundant. The discussion is divided under a number of headings corresponding to specific functions that have been attributed to the first?person viewpoint, from the experience of something it is like to undergo physical processes, to the presence of selfhood, mental substance, meaning, understanding, and value. Arguments indicating limitations of the working principle are adduced, as well as arguments indicating possible exploitations of those limitations by first?personalist positions. Although some of the latter also have limitations, the direction in which the examination tends is that of a progressive widening of the concept of consciousness
Keywords Consciousness  Metaphysics  Mind  Selfhood  Soul
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DOI 10.1080/00201748708602131
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