Consciousness: An inner view of the outer world

Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (7-8):175-86 (2006)
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Right now my conscious experience is directed at part of the world. It takes in some aspects of things around me and not others. Some bits of the world occupy my attention, other worldly goings on condition or colour the character of my current perceptual experience. I experience buildings in view through the window, the clothes in the corner of the room, the colour of the walls, the plate with breads, the coffee mugs, the smell of fresh laundry, the muffled sounds of someone in the kitchen, the sounds from the street: a sequence of things that in turn capture my attention moment to moment. And all the while thoughts occur to me, modulating my conscious awareness. I have no doubt that the world and my place in it, together with my recent past history, explains the particular form my consciousness takes right now. But what shape does that explanation take? Things out there beyond the boundaries of my skin enter into the conscious events I undergo. The inner is in this way shaped and determined by those outer things that impress themselves on the mind. What is it, though, for consciousness of this kind to go on at all?



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Barry C. Smith
School of Advanced Study, University of London

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Radical externalism.Ted Honderich - 2006 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (7-8):3-13.

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