Consciousness 2 - ODD Study group

derek tatton
27 October 2008

Open Circle, ODD Group

A brief reminder that the theme tomorrow evening, Tue 28 Oct, will be 'Consciousness 2'.
I've had a brief chat with Bob on the phone, who will again chair the session, and I enclose a few additional notes which may be used during the evening.



Additional notes for Tue 28th Oct.

From The Conscious Brain  by Steven Rose - former Professor of Biology, the OU.
(Penguin Books,  Revised Edn,  1976).  

“Consciousness means many things, sometimes simultaneously, often contradictorily.
Thus, it may simply mean a state different from being asleep or in a coma;  the reverse of being ‘unconscious’.  It may be used to relate to the private world of the mind in contrast with a presumed ‘public’ world of observed behaviour.  People speak of ‘altered states of consciousness’ which may be induced by drugs, often implying by this altered awareness or altered perception of the world around.  
Consciousness may have a Freudian meaning in which some human acts, or the motivations for them, occur at a level out of reach of the thinking ‘conscious’ mind with its overt rationalisations,  buried in some relatively inaccessible ‘subconscious’.   Finally, there is the Marxist sense of consciousness.  
The difference between these uses of the term is that whilst most of the earlier ones are essentially static definitions, of consciousness as a ’state’ of being, in the Marxist sense consciousness is a dynamic force which emerges in interaction between the individual and his or her environment….

Consciousness in my sense of the term, is a continuously unrolling, continuously developing activity of minds/brains in interaction with their environment, modified, either temporarily or permanently, by changing circumstances.”


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