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Actual Consciousness (Hardback)
  • Actual Consciousness (Hardback)
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Actual Consciousness (Hardback)

(author)
£36.99
Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 10/07/2014
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What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, general externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit-constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a part or stage of a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, a world differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence-clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198714385
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 786 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Recommended. * Choice *
I admire Honderich's insightful self-reflective re-examination of the facts of consciousness as he perceives them.... That Honderich's discussion of actual consciousness opens so many avenues for philosophical exploration is the measure of its success and likely long-lasting contribution to the study and understanding of consciousness. The book is highly recommended for its topic, approach and new perspectives on the challenging problem of adequately understanding consciousness in a scientific philosophy of mind. For those with minimal objection to countenancing as many actualities as there are perceiving minds, then the subjective actuality of consciousness may have found an ideal situation in Honderich's theory of actual consciousness. * Dale Jacquette, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online *
oddly engaging * Australian Book Review, Janna Thompson *
Honderich's thought in Actual Consciousness is as always entirely accessible... For its genre this is an unusual book, not least, though engagingly, for the virtually 'actual' presence of its author on every page. Honderich's checklists and their interrelations should provide themes for many seminars to come. * Philosophy, Alastair Hannay *
Meticulously researched and extensively cited * Guardian *
This audacious venture should certainly be praised ... good philosophy presses readers to think for themselves, and Actual Consciousness gives us much food for thought * Roberta Locatelli, Times Higher Education *
Oddly engaging ... a good start for a theory of consciousness, and his approach makes sense of what most people assume when they take the reality of their experience for granted. * Janna Thompson, Australian Book Review *

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