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Witness-Consciousness: Its Definition, Appearance and Reality

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G.E. Moore alludes to a notion of consciousness that is diaphanous, elusive to attention, yet detectable. Such a notion, I suggest, approximates what Bina Gupta has called ‘witness-consciousness'--in particular, the aspect of mode-neutral awareness with intrinsic phenomenal character. This paper offers a detailed definition and defence of the appearance and reality of witness-consciousness. While I claim that witness- consciousness captures the essence of subjectivity, and so must be accounted for in the ‘hard problem' of consciousness, it is not to be confused with the more commonly defended notion of ‘for-me-ness'.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophy Dept., The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia., Email:

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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