Consciousness and Gibson's concept of awareness

Journal of Mind and Behavior 3 (3):305-28 (1995)

Currently in psychology, after a long hiatus, there exists an accelerating interest in the nature and character of consciousness. As might be expected at this early point in our return to consciousness, much of the relevant discussion among psychologists proceeds at the commonsense level of understanding. However, some psychologies are already moving beyond ordinary thought, and providing one or more technical concepts of consciousness. Such psychologies may be useful in improving psychologists' conceptual grasp of the referents of our ordinary concepts of consciousness. Among the ordinary concepts of consciousness, probably the most basic one is the concept of consciousness3 . Among the psychologies that could be helpful is the influential ecological approach developed by James J. Gibson. This article is propaedeutic to putting Gibson's technical concept of awareness to work in improving the concept of consciousness3. First, features of the latter concept are identified; and then, with this concept firmly in mind, Gibson's concept of awareness, mainly its perceptual application, is made explicit and discussed with regard to a number of its important features. In both these ways, and others to follow based on the same materials, I hope to contribute to the conceptual sophistication of psychologists as they again seek to address the topic of consciousness
Keywords Consciousness  Materialism  Psychology  Science  Gibson, J
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