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Is there Awareness Outside Attention?Allan Combs, Stanley A Psychological Perspective

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This paper approaches the question of awareness outside of attention through a broader psychological examination of human consciousness. Questions regarding the boundaries of conscious awareness, as well as the possibility of 'subconscious' or 'unconscious' mental processes, were widely discussed 100 years and more ago when they played a central role in the thinking of turn-of-thecentury theorists such as William James, F.W.H. Myers, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Pierre Janet, all of whom were interested in dissociative phenomena suggestive of consciousness, or awareness, beyond the margins of attention. Such phenomena included hypnosis, hysteria, trance states, and motor automatisms, and for many scholars also sleep related conditions such as dreaming and hypnogogic states.

Keywords: Consciousness; William James; basin; chaos theory; disaggregation; dissociation; sciences of complexity; self; strange attractor; unConsciousness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: California Institute of Integral Studies, Email: 2: Email: 3: Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2010


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