Essay on Consciousness: Our Portal to Fulfillment

Essay on Consciousness: Our Portal to Fulfillment

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Human culture expands rapidly and our concept of consciousness is rapidly evolving with it. Philosophers have filled the void concerning the true nature of consciousness not yet determined by science. Despite the subjective nature of consciousness, perceived by many to be a personal and private aspect of human existence, neurobiologists are investigating and measuring objective characteristics of introspective reasoning and associated elements of morality. Most agree that consciousness is key to human happiness and belonging. I will argue that consciousness is a physiological phenomenon, equivalent to the concept of self, as well as a portal to one’s culture, collective experience and fulfillment. I contend that it is critical to human experience.
Philosophers agree that consciousness is man’s key to the concept of “self,” able to activate memory, values and feelings of identity, yet they remain conflicted as to how. Although Dualists contend that brain impulses and the consciousness of the soul are separate substances or processes, Functionalists believe introspective consciousness is a biological phenomenon of the brain that regulates perception and reasoning. Both find consciousness to be the source of “the self,” the “me” that defines an individual’s identity. Functionalist philosopher David Armstrong makes the argument that introspective consciousness is aligned with consciousness of self and feels that "unless mental activity is monitored by introspective consciousness, it is unlikely it will be remembered" (Armstrong, 1980). Anti-functionalists like Thomas Nagel argue that the "subjective character of experience” associated with consciousness can't be fully measured by physical description and that brain state...


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Gertler, B., & Shapiro, L. A. (2007). David Chalmers: The puzzle of conscious experience. Arguing about the mind (pp. 27-35). New York: Routledge.
Gertler, B., & Shapiro, L. A. (2007). Patricia S. Churchland: The hornswoggle problem. Arguing about the mind (pp. 27-35). New York: Routledge.
Hofstadter, D. R., & Dennett, D. C. (1981). Thomas Nagel: What is it like to be a bat?. The mind's I: fantasies and reflections on self and soul (pp. 391-403). New York: Basic Books.
Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? Philosophical Review, 83(4), 435-450. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2183914
Searle, J. (2013, July). John Searle: Our shared condition -- consciousness. TED: Ideas worth spreading [Video file]. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/john_searle_our_shared_condition_consciousness.html

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