Consciousness: Are We All In This Together? Essay

Consciousness: Are We All In This Together? Essay

Length: 1277 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A question that continues to puzzle scholars (and Honors students, alike) is that of what defines human consciousness. It would be simple to say that it is defined by one’s awareness of itself and of its surroundings. What makes the question so difficult to answer, though, is that consciousness is much more than an acute awareness; it is the process of becoming aware, finding the purpose of our consciousness, and building morals and intelligence from that awareness that entangles those who search for answers in a web of utter confusion.
In beginning my search for the understanding of consciousness, I chose to look into the thoughts and beliefs of Karl Marx and Jean-Paul Sartre. Marx and Sartre are similar in their philosophy in that they both agree that our existence defines the essence(s) of our consciousness, but they differ when discussing their ways of achieving consciousness. For Marx, consciousness is sought through the materials we, humans, produce through our labor and social and religious practices. Sartre, on the other hand, thinks that consciousness is a “nothing” and must be defined by the individual rather than a class or group, as Marx suggests. Ultimately, both agree that humans have the ability to change and control the essence of existence, which is important in understanding the power humans have in their mortal lives. My interest and search for consciousness begins with the empowering thought of control over all essences and humans’ ability to freely define them. I believe that Marx and Sartre capture the image of human ability in excellent and similar ways. Their differences, though, call into question how we are to live our mortal lives: are we destined to discover and fulfill our purpose individually or c...


... middle of paper ...


... of being human.
The most important belief amongst these two philosophers is the human’s ability to control and shape our consciousness by using choices and materials to make it into what we wish it to be. They see the power of human beings through their own manifestation and not through a higher being; if anything, we could consider ourselves the higher being from whom we should seek guidance. It is for this reason that Marx and Sartre are note-worthy figures in the understanding and creation of our consciousness.



Works Cited

SparkNotes Editors. (2005). SparkNote on Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980). Retrieved
October 31, 2011, from http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/sartre/
Marx, K. (1968). The german ideology: Idealism and
materialism. (Vol. 1). Progress Publishers. Retrieved from http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Metaphysical Philosophy Of New Consciousness For Successful Living Essay

- Different States of Consciousness Metaphysical Science states that “failure to fulfill our desires comes from our inability to use the full capacity of the mind” (Maharishi, 1972). Metaphysical Science proposes that never-ending cycle of addiction, recovery and return to addiction is self-created because the addict’s potential to be permanently free of addiction is obscured by a lack of the awareness. Masters in “The Metaphysical Philosophy of New Consciousness for Successful Living” highlights the importance of self-awareness for it indicates “how to guide your life towards more successful living” (Minister’s/Bachelor’s Curriculum 2: 23: 42) and brings about a “new consciousness of oneself”...   [tags: Mind, Consciousness, Metaphysics]

Strong Essays
1600 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Karl Marx 's Theory Of Alienation And False Consciousness

- "The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them." -Karl Marx 's. The German economist Karl Marx 's briefly explains that in our society today all individuals are placed inside a system from birth that gives one person power while the other is oppressed and degraded by the unspoken caste system in western society today. He has several socialistic views ways that explain the problems with the capitalist society we live in such as his ideological principle called Marxism, which has several topics conveyed such as conflict theory, and alienation and false consciousness....   [tags: Karl Marx, Sociology, Marxism, Working class]

Strong Essays
1070 words (3.1 pages)

The American Consciousness Essay

- Black literature confronts and questions the essence of the American consciousness. Intertwined to the fabric of the American people, the state and the nation’s ideals we find a disturbing history of brutal exploitation and dehumanization. Out of this plight, rise to vitality a collection of written initiatives that identify the acceptance of Blackness as the most pressing American affair. Within this canon of work, the Abolitionist movement rises to the attention of the slave population and of Europeans alike....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Strong Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

The Mode Of Consciousness, By Karen Armstrong Essay

- The mode of consciousness is one’s set of attitudes towards the different aspects of life, which in turn affects how one interacts with his/her internal and external environment. The mode of consciousness is a malleable part of one’s being, due to the many external forces and stressors in the world that act upon one’s life. Behavior is the way one acts or conducts oneself in response to a situation, whether it is biological or not. The relationship between these two attributes of one’s being are closely related, in the way that the mode of consciousness is in control and highly influences one’s behavior....   [tags: Psychology, Human behavior, Behavior, Human]

Strong Essays
1347 words (3.8 pages)

Chapter Five And The Realm Of Consciousness Essay

- Chapter five is an interesting chapter to me because it delves in to the realm of consciousness. I am intrigued by what alters conscious states, and how certain affects and events could even alter consciousness itself. Another reason I am interested is because of how it is continuous and yet still changing, and how it consists of many different levels and attentions. Chapter five also has a fact on dreaming that I think is important and that is using dreams as a means of problem solving. I think that each individual has their own level of consciousness and attention depending on what is currently happening in that individual’s life or what has happened recently....   [tags: Unconscious mind, Mind, Neuroscience, Sleep]

Strong Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Phenomenology : The Essence Of Perception And Consciousness

- Merleau-Ponty defines phenomenology as the study of essences, including the essence of perception and consciousness. He also says that phenomenology is a method of describing the nature of our perceptual contact with the world. Phenomenology also tries to bring to light the experiences that we create when we are introduced to the world around us. The first thing that Ponty addresses is our perception and how it is related to our experiences. We perceive objects as soon as we encounter them, but when we encountered them we only experience one version of it and that is a problem....   [tags: Mind, Perception, Psychology, Cognition]

Strong Essays
1720 words (4.9 pages)

The Double Consciousness Of A Black American Essay

- Introduction Sprouted from slavery, the African American culture struggled to ground itself steadily into the American soils over the course of centuries. Imprisoned and transported to the New World, the African slaves suffered various physical afflictions, mental distress and social discrimination from their owners; their descendants confronted comparable predicaments from the society. The disparity in the treatment towards the African slaves forged their role as outliers of society, thus shaping a dual identity within the African American culture....   [tags: Slavery, Black people, Afro-Latin American]

Strong Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Niche Theory and the Human Consciousness Essay

- Niche Theory and the Human Consciousness Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. -Lewis Carroll How do we create something new in this world....   [tags: Psychology Essays]

Free Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Hemingway's Achievement of Stream of Consciousness Essay

- Hemingway's Achievement of Stream of Consciousness In Hemingway's In Our Time, the author refers to clean water in the form of lakes, rivers, and streams in almost all of his short stories, while he makes direct reference to water in his chapters only when that water is stagnant or contaminated. Perhaps this collection of Hemingway's is representative of the conscious mind through his stories, and the subconscious through his chapters. Read as such, water can be seen as a central element in consciousness for Hemingway....   [tags: American Literature]

Strong Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Social Order and Animal Consciousness

- Social Order and Animal Consciousness There is nothing new about the uncanny abilities of animals. People have noticed them for centuries. Millions of pet owners and pet trainers today have experienced them personally. But at the same time, many people feel they have to deny these abilities or trivialize them. They are ignored by institutional science. Pets are the animals we know best, but their most surprising and intriguing behavior is treated as of no real interest. Why should this be so, and what about the implications of animal consciousness and intelligence through the behavior observed by those with close relations to animals....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)