Author: Natsoulas, Thomas
Affiliation: U California, Dept of Psychology, Davis, CA, USA
Title: The sciousness hypothesis--Part II.
Source: Journal of Mind & Behavior, 1996 Spr, 1996. 17 (2): p.185-206
Language: English
Subjects: Thesaurus terms: Awareness Consciousness States Theories
Added Keywords: Sciousness Hypothesis of role of awareness in consciousness
Classification Code: Philosophy (2630)
Abstract: The Sciousness Hypothesis holds that how we know our mental-occurrence instances does not include our having immediate awareness of them. Rather, we take notice of our behaviors or bodily reactions and infer mental-occurrence instances that would explain them. InThe Principles, W. James left it an open question whether the Sciousness Hypothesis is true, although he proceeded on the conviction that one's mental life consists exclusively of mental-occurrence instances of which one has (or could have had) immediate awareness. Nevertheless, James was tempted by the Sciousness Hypothesis; and he adopted the kind of account of inner awareness favored among present-day psychologists of consciousness: to the effect that awareness of a mental-occurrence instance does not take place from within its phenomenological structure, always from a certain distance, by means of a distinct mental-occurrence instance. This means that the immediacy of inner awareness can only be a temporal and causal immediacy, not the kind we seem actually to have, whereby we consciously participate in the occurrence of a mental state. The present article, which is published in 2 separate though continuous parts, clarifies and elaborates the Sciousness Hypothesis, and critically discusses it and the kind of account of inner awareness that seems to be closest to it. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)