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Philosophy - Philosophical Traditions | Consciousness - From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy

Consciousness

From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy

Heinämaa, Sara, Lähteenmäki, Vili, Remes, Pauliina (Eds.)

2007, XII, 366 p.

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  • The first historical survey focusing on the notion of consciousness
  • Approaches consciousness through its constitutive aspects, such as subjectivity, reflexivity, intentionality and selfhood
  • Covers discussions from ancient philosophy all the way to contemporary debates
  • Enriches current systematic debates by uncovering historical roots of the notion of consciousness
  • Offers alternative conceptualisations about consciousness

Despite decades of theoretization, consciousness continues to haunt contemporary philosophy of mind. The coherence and validity of the concept are in question, yet consciousness seems to resist the projects of reduction and naturalization. This collection opens a diachronical perspective to intuitions about consciousness and our aspiration of coming to grips with it. Through investigating ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern discussions in their original philosophical context, the articles offer understanding of the emergence of our problems concerning consciousness, as well as a wealth of alternative ways of conceptualizing it.

Consciousness: From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy shows that the concept of consciousness was explicated relatively late in the tradition, but that its central features, such as reflexivity, subjectivity and aboutness, attained avid interest very early in philosophical debates. This book reveals how these features have been related to other central topics, such as selfhood, perception, attention and embodiment. At the same time, the articles display that consciousness is not just an isolated issue of philosophy of mind, but is bound to ontological, epistemological and moral discussions. Integrating historical inquiries into the systematic ones enables understanding the complexity and richness of conscious phenomena.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Aristotle - Avicenna - Consciousness - Edmund Husserl - Intentionality - Kant - Medieval philosophy - Plato - Reflexivity - Spinoza - Subjectivity - ancient philosophy - concept - history of philosophy - psychology

Related subjects » Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy - Psychology

Table of contents 

Introduction.- PART I: ANCIENT AND ARABIC PHILOSOPHY.- 1. On Plato’s Lack of Consciousness; Amber Carpenter.- 2. The Problem of Consciousness in Aristotle’s Psychology; Juha Sihvola.- 3. Ownness of Conscious Experience in Ancient Philosophy; Pauliina Remes.- 4. Sense-Perception and Self-Awareness: Before and After Avicenna; Jari Kaukua and Taneli Kukkonen.- PART II: MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY AND EARLY MODERN THOUGHT.- 5. Intentional Presence: The Notion of Presentialitas in the 14th Century; Joël Biard.- 6. The Structure of Self-Consciousness: A 14th-Century Debate; Mikko Yrjönsuuri.- 7. Augustine and Descartes on the Function of Attention in Perceptual Awareness; Deborah Brown.- 8. Orders of Consciousness and Forms of Reflexivity in Descartes; Vili Lähteenmäki.- 9. The Status of Consciousness in Spinoza’s Concept of Mind; Jon Miller.- PART III: FROM KANT TO CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSIONS.- 10. Human Consciousness and its Transcendental Conditions: Kant’s Anti-Cartesian Revolt; Kenneth R. Westphal.- 11. The Living Consciousness of the German Idealists; Susanna Lindberg.- 12. The Heidelberg School and the Limits of Reflection; Dan Zahavi.- 13. Contemporary Naturalism and the Concept of Consciousness; Neil Manson.- 14. Selfhood, Consciousness, and Embodiment: A Husserlian Approach; Sara Heinämaa.- BIBLIOGRAPHY.- INDEX.

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