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The Concept of Consciousness

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Considered here is the last one of the six basic concepts of consciousness that The Oxford English Dictionary identifies in its several entries under consciousness. The referent of the sixth concept, which I call “consciousness6”, is rightly understood to be a certain general operating mode of the mind. Any psychological account of consciousness6 must distinguish this operating mode from (a) the “particular consciousness or awarenesses”, i.e., the specific thoughts, feelings, perceptions, intentions, and the like (including William James's succession of total states of consciousness), that occur while the mind is so operating, and from (b) the other, alternative, general operating modes of the mind: such as those that are sometimes in force in place of consciousness6, when one is awake.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, USA

Publication date: 01 March 1999

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