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Mind and Consciousness Questions - Essay Example

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Mind and Consciousness Questions

John Searle defines consciousness to consist of inner, qualitative, subjective states and processes of sentience or awareness. The subjectivity of consciousness is one of the issues that John Searle seeks to clarify. He argues out that consciousness is subject to some human or animal. All conscious states according to him have first person ontology and not third person ontology therefore they can only exist when experienced by some human or animal agent and it is therefore subject to the existence of a human or animal. I.e. it is dependent on the existence of an agent (human or animal) (Searle, 1980). Searle also points out that consciousness is purely a biological process in that is exclusively caused by neurobiological progressions and is realized in the brain structures. He however argues that it is different from other biological phenomena due to its qualitativeness, intentionality, subjectivity and unity traits. He likens the way the brain unites all of the variety of our different stimulus inputs into a single unified conscious experience to the way the visual system binds all of the different stimulus inputs into a single unified visual percept (Searle, 1980). Searle’s arguments are sensible in that they show sense on the connection between the state of the mind and consciousness. The fact that consciousness is a biological process explains how conscious states are processed and how they come to be. The explanations give greater insight to what consciousness is. Consciousness cannot occur without the interconnections between various aspects like sight and the mind. Various biological processes involving the brain have to take place for consciousness to be in place. One does not just become aware of their surroundings or environment through sight only. Seeing has to be accompanied by conceptualization of the environment for one to make a judgment on what he/she is seeing. Consciousness is therefore not a one instance thing but a process comprised of a number of activities and stages. I therefore support the argument that consciousness is a biological process and it is subjective. Semantic knowledge can be defined as established knowledge pertaining objects, facts and word meanings. They bear based on facts and the knowledge is shown by referencing of words. A good example is the statement, ` a snake is not a fast runner, in fact, and it cannot run at all.’ This is a representation of semantic knowledge because it points out a fact that depends on the referent of the word run. Syntactic knowledge on the other hand is basically linguistic knowledge that can be stated without a reference to the words they refer to. An example of syntactic knowledge is the statement `there are rampant cases of food insecurity and illiteracy in third world countries’ (Levy, Bayley, & Squire, 2004). This represents syntactic knowledge because it brings out the intended information or knowledge without having to use references that relates to expertise in grammar. The form of knowledge basically entails knowledge by description. The way I can describe a past experience I had is basically a form of knowledge. There are three major forms of knowledge namely intellectual knowledge which entails collection of facts, knowledge of states which entail human emotional feelings and the real knowledge which is basically what is considered as the reality. The content of knowledge on the other hand, is a prior knowledge on an issue one is trying to ...Show more

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MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS Name: Institution: Mind and Consciousness Questions Consciousness is the state of being aware of one’s environment and one’s own sensations and thoughts or in a nutshell, the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings…
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