What makes us who we are?
Whacky – and well – slightly weird! We love this and just couldn’t resist sharing this animation! It’s all about human consciousness – part of what defines us as a species.
Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.
Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.”
Philosophers since the time of Descartes and Locke have struggled to comprehend the nature of consciousness and pin down its essential properties.
Issues of concern in the philosophy of consciousness include whether the concept is fundamentally coherent; whether consciousness can ever be explained mechanistically; whether non-human consciousness exists and if so how it can be recognized; how consciousness relates to language; whether consciousness can be understood in a way that does not require a dualistic distinction between mental and physical states or properties; and whether it may ever be possible for computing machines like computers or robots to be conscious, a topic studied in the field of artificial intelligence.
And whilst philosophers and scientists will argue over the exact nature of human consciousness – we think this animation does a great job in adding to that debate!
Created by Joost Jansen for his website.
[More Information: Joost Jansen
| Human Consciousness Project
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