Consciousness and Philosophers of the Mind

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Consciousness and Philosophers of Mind "Consciousness is a word used by philosophers, to signify that immediate knowledge which we have of our present thoughts and purposes, and, in general of all the operations of our mind… [and] if I am asked to prove that I cannot be deceived by consciousness to prove that it is not a fallacious sense I can find no proof…" (Thomas Reid, referenced by Lehrer, 2008). Introduction There are many features of consciousness that philosophers of the mind discuss and debate. Two are found within the philosophy of Russ McBride; they are: a) "…a conscious creature or subject"; and b) a "conscious mental state" (Manson, 2011, 100). Another philosophy professor, Michael Antony, sees two features that are commonly debated and dissected by scholars in and out of the field of philosophy. Those features are the "conscious state" and the "conscious creature" both of which will be further developed in this paper. Are mental states always "clearly conscious states"? Or are they "clearly not conscious?" Antony argues that it is impossible to accept that there could be any "borderline cases" or "fuzzy boundaries" for concepts of consciousness (Antony, 2008). Antony's and other approaches to consciousness are reviewed and critiqued in this paper. The Literature on Consciousness The concept of consciousness is "ambiguous" and "polysemic" (having more than one meaning), according to professor Neil Manson (King's College in London). The fact that
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