Awareness (derived from the Middle High German word bewissen meaning "knowledge of something having," Latin conscientia "complicity" and ancient Greek συνείδησις syneidesis "Miterscheinung", "Mitbild", "complicity" συναίσθησις Synaisthesis "Mitwahrnehmung", "Mitempfindung" and φρόνησις phrónēsis from φρονεῖν phroneín "being in your senses, thinking") is, in the broadest sense, the experience more mentalStates and processes. A generally valid definition of the term is difficult because of its different uses with different meanings. Scientific research deals with definable properties of conscious experience.
Meaning of the term
The word "consciousness" was coined by Christian Wolff as a loan translation of the Latin conscientia . The Latin word originally meant conscience and was first used in a more general sense by René Descartes . The term “consciousness” has a very diverse meaning in language usage, which partially overlaps with the meanings of “ spirit ” and “ soul ”. In contrast to the latter, however, the term “consciousness” is less determined by theological and dualistic - metaphysical thoughts, which is why it is also used in the natural sciences .
It complicates many discussions that awareness basically has two meanings. The first is that we are even aware of something and not unconscious. The second is that we perceive or do something consciously, i.e. not without thinking about it. Furthermore, awareness is not a binary quality that one has or does not have. There are gradations, depending on the definition. Michio Kaku defines it as follows: "Consciousness is the process of creating a model of the world using numerous feedback loops with regard to various parameters (e.g. temperature, space, time and in relation to each other) in order to achieve a goal." He differentiates 4 levels of consciousness, from plants to humans - depending on the number of feedback loops, which increases exponentially from level 0 to level 3 .
A distinction is made between various aspects and stages of development in philosophy and natural science today :
- Consciousness as “being animated” or as “being animated” in different religions or as the unlimited reality in mystical currents.
- Be conscious : Here the awake conscious state of is creatures meant that, among other things from the sleep state, the loss of consciousness and other states of consciousness separates. In this sense, consciousness can be described empirically and objectively and partially limited. Much scientific research has started here; especially with the question of how the brain and consciousness are related.
- Consciousness as phenomenal consciousness : A living being that has phenomenal consciousness not only receives stimuli, but also experiences them. In this sense, one has phenomenal awareness, for example when one is in pain , is happy, perceives colors or is cold. It is generally believed that animals with sufficiently complex brain structures have such awareness. Phenomenal consciousness was thematized as a qualia problem in the philosophy of mind .
- Access awareness: A living being that has access awareness has control over its thoughts, can make decisions and act in a coordinated manner.
- Consciousness as thought consciousness : A living being that has thought consciousness has thoughts . So anyone who thinks, remembers, plans and expects something to be the case has this kind of awareness. In the philosophy of mind it was thematized as a problem of intentionality .
- Consciousness of the self : Living beings who not only have phenomenal and thought consciousness, but also know that they have such consciousness, have self-confidence in this sense.
- Individuality awareness is possessed by those who are aware of themselves and beyond that of their uniqueness as a living being and who perceive the otherness of other living beings. It is found in humans and, to some extent, in the behavior of some other mammal species.
The use of the term consciousness is usually dependent on one of these meanings and thus on a limitation. Also, different worldviews are often expressed in the different ways of use .
Consciousness in philosophy
Awareness as a riddle
In a materialistic worldview, the riddle of consciousness arises on the basis of the question of how it can in principle be possible that the idea of consciousness arises from a certain arrangement and dynamics of matter .
In a non-materialistic worldview, no statement about consciousness can be derived from knowledge about the physical properties of a system. Here it is assumed: Even if two different living beings A and B are in exactly the same neurophysiologically functional state (which is completely known to natural scientists), A could be conscious while B is not. The theoretical possibility of such a " zombie " is highly controversial among philosophers.
According to philosophical thought experiments, a person can function exactly as he does now without consciously experiencing it (see: Philosophical Zombie ). In the same way, a machine can behave in exactly the same way as a human, without being ascribed to its consciousness (see: Chinese room ). The imaginability of these situations reveals that the phenomenon of consciousness is not yet understood from a scientific point of view. And finally, unlike other problems, it seems unclear which criteria could be used to identify a solution to the problem as such.
The riddle of consciousness has long been known in philosophy. But it came in the first half of the 20th century under the influence of behaviorism and criticism of Edmund Husserl the psychologism into relative obscurity. This changed not least through Thomas Nagel's essay What is it like to be a bat? ( What's it like to be a bat? ). Nagel argued that we would never learn what it felt like to be a bat . These subjective ideas cannot be researched from the external perspective of the natural sciences. Today, some philosophers share the riddle - such as David Chalmers , Frank Jackson , Joseph Levine and Peter Bieri , while others see no riddle here - such as Patricia Churchland , Paul Churchland and Daniel Dennett .
For the representatives of the mystery of consciousness these different in two aspects says: On the one hand have states of consciousness an experience content, and it was not clear how the brain experience could produce. This is the quality problem. On the other hand, thoughts could relate to empirical facts and therefore be true or false. However, it is not clear how the brain can generate thoughts with such properties. That is the problem of intentionality .
The quality problem
Qualia are experience contents of mental states. One also speaks of qualia as the "phenomenal consciousness". The problem of qualification is that there is no clear connection between neuronal states and qualia: Why do we experience anything at all when certain neuronal processes take place in the brain? An example: If you burn your fingers, stimuli would be sent to the brain, processed there and ultimately a behavior would be produced. Nothing, however, makes it imperative that an experience of pain arises.
The partially unknown connection between the neural processes and the assumed qualia seems to be fatal for the scientific explainability of consciousness: We would only have explained a phenomenon scientifically if we also explained its properties. An example: water has the properties of being liquid at room temperature and normal air pressure , of boiling at 100 ° C, etc. If one simply could not explain why water is normally liquid, there would be a "riddle of water". Analogous to this: We would have explained a state of consciousness exactly if the following applies: All properties of the state of consciousness follow from the scientific description - including the qualia. Since the qualia did not follow from any scientific description, they remained a "riddle of consciousness".
There are many different ways to react to the qualification problem:
- One could withdraw to a dualism and claim: the natural sciences cannot explain consciousness because consciousness is not material.
- One could claim that the neuroscientific and cognitive science descriptions have already clarified all questions.
- One could argue that the problem cannot be solved for humans because it exceeds their cognitive abilities.
- One can admit that the quality problem has not been solved, but hope for scientific progress . Maybe a new scientific revolution is needed.
- One could try a radical step and claim that in reality there is no qualia.
- Conversely, one could take the opposite position and claim: Every state of a physical system corresponds to a torment or a set of qualia ( panpsychism ).
The intentionality problem
The assumption of the intentionality problem is analogous to the assumption of the quality problem. The basic argumentative structure is the same. The view goes back to Franz Brentano and his nude psychology that most states of consciousness not only have an experience content, but also an intentional content. That means that they relate to a goal of action. Exceptions are basic moods such as boredom, basic attitudes such as optimism and, according to Hans Blumenberg, also forms of fear.
In the case of the intentionality problem, similar solutions are proposed as in the case of the quality problem. But there are other options. You can also try to explain when a neural activity relates to something (e.g. X). Three suggestions are:
- Jerry Fodor thinks that a neural process relates to X if and only if it has a certain causal relation to X.
- Fred Dretske thinks that a neural process relates to X if and only if it is a reliable indicator of X.
- Ruth Millikan thinks that a neural process relates to X if and only if it is the evolutionary function of the process to indicate X.
Inside perspective and outside perspective
A distinction is often made between two approaches to consciousness. On the one hand, there is an immediate and non- symbolic experience of consciousness, also called introspection . On the other hand, one describes phenomena of consciousness from the external perspective of the natural sciences. A distinction between the direct and the symbolically mediated point of view is understood by many philosophers, even if some theorists and theologians have sharply criticized the conception of the immediate and private interior. Baruch Spinoza, for example, calls direct, non-symbolic viewing “ intuition ” and the ability to describe symbolically “ intellect ”.
It is sometimes asserted that the level of the immediate experience of consciousness for the "knowledge of reality" is actually the decisive one. The core of consciousness, subjective experience, is only accessible in it. However, since this level is not directly accessible through an objective description, there are also limits to scientific knowledge in the field of consciousness.
Consciousness, materialism and dualism
The anti-materialist arguments related to consciousness are mostly based on the concepts of qualia and intentionality discussed above. The argumentative structure is as follows: If materialism is true, then qualia and intentionality must be reductively explainable. But they cannot be explained reductively. So materialism is wrong. In the philosophical debate, however, the argument becomes more complex. A well-known argument comes from Frank Cameron Jackson . In a thought experiment there is the super scientist Mary , who grows up and lives in a black and white laboratory. She has never seen colors , so she doesn't know what colors look like. But she knows all the physical facts about color vision. But since she doesn't know all the facts about colors (she doesn't know what they look like), there are non-physical facts. Jackson concludes that there are non-physical facts and that materialism is wrong. Various materialistic replies have been made against this argument (cf. Qualia ).
Numerous materialistic replicas have been developed against such dualistic arguments . They are based on the possibilities described above to react to the concepts of qualia and intentionality. There is therefore a multitude of materialistic ideas about consciousness. Functionalists like Jerry Fodor and the early Hilary Putnam wanted to explain consciousness in analogy to the computer through an abstract, internal system structure. Identity theorists like Ullin Place and John Smart wanted to attribute consciousness directly to brain processes, while eliminative materialists like Patricia and Paul Churchland classify consciousness as a completely useless term. More detailed descriptions can be found in the article Philosophy of Mind .
Awareness in Science
Experience triggers behavior , is described by neurosciences and neural processes can be simulated on a computer . This is an area in which artificial intelligence works . Many individual sciences are involved in the study of consciousness, as there are a large number of different, empirically describable phenomena . Whether and to what extent the natural sciences thus contribute to a clarification of the problems of qualia and intentionality discussed in philosophy is considered controversial.
In the neurosciences u. a. examines the relationship between the brain and consciousness. The neuroscientist António Damásio defines "consciousness" as follows: "Consciousness is a state of mind in which one has knowledge of one's own existence and the existence of an environment."
A central element of neuroscientific research into consciousness is the search for neural correlates of consciousness . One tries to contrast certain mental states with neural processes. This search for correlates is supported by the fact that the brain is functionally structured. Different parts of the brain ( areas ) are responsible for different tasks. We know, for example, that the Broca Center (or Brodmann areas 44 and 45) are essentially responsible for speech production. Damage to this region often leads to a speech production disorder, the so-called Broca's aphasia . Measurements of brain activity during speech production also show increased activity in this region. Furthermore, the electrical stimulation of this area can lead to temporary language problems. Allocations of mental states to brain regions are almost always incomplete, since stimuli are usually processed in several brain regions at the same time and are rarely completely recorded.
The conceptual and methodological distinction between neural correlates of consciousness and unconscious brain activity enables the investigation of the question of which neural processes are linked to the awareness of an internal state and which are not. During deep sleep , anesthesia, or some types of coma and epilepsy , for example, large parts of the brain are active without being accompanied by conscious states.
In recent years, research on perception has taken a dominant position in basic neurobiological research on consciousness. Some visual illusions, for example, make it possible to investigate how the conscious experience of the sensory world is related to the physical processes of stimulus reception and processing. A prime example of this is the phenomenon of binocular rivalry , in which an observer can only consciously perceive one of two images presented at the same time. The neuroscientific study of this phenomenon has revealed that large parts of the brain are activated by the unaware perceived visual stimuli. On the other hand, people also experience themselves as conscious when their sensory perception and attention are extremely reduced, such as during a lucid dream phase . Brain research has not yet given a satisfactory answer to what the peculiar state of “being conscious” consists of in humans.
The determination of brain activity, which indicates conscious experience, is of increasing ethical and practical importance. Several medical problem areas, such as the possibility of temporary intraoperative wakefulness during general anesthesia, the classification of coma patients and their optimal treatment, or the question of brain death are directly affected by this.
Consciousness is a central term in psychology . On the one hand, it is the totality of the experiences, i. H. the experienced psychological states and activities (ideas, feelings, etc.) and on the other hand being conscious as a special kind of immediate awareness of these experiences, which is also referred to as inner experience. Phenomenal awareness and access awareness are of paramount importance, as the two phenomena include perceiving , thinking and making decisions . The distinction between the conscious and the unconscious is also important. In cognitive psychology, both are poles of the state of knowledge about what is available and how it can be communicated, where there are many degrees of clarity related to intention (action plan), concentration, critical self-reference, alertness, previous experiences, the ability to classify, differentiate and affect. Awareness .
There are several psychological approaches that contribute to consciousness research:
- Information processing approach : This understands people as an information processing system, that is, people take in information from their environment, process it and then show a certain behavior. Consciousness is identified with a specific processing mechanism. In the information processing approach, the mental processes are viewed from an outside perspective. However, the consciousness depends on the respective subject and consists in the inner perspective. One must therefore critically examine whether the objective approach can explain the subjective experience.
- Working memory model (Baddeley): This model assumes that there is a short-term memory and a higher-level control system in the human brain, which is referred to as the central executive. Access awareness is the function of the central executive. Phenomenal consciousness cannot be equated with the contents of short-term memory. Up to 7 chunks can be maintained and temporarily stored in this, but only 3 chunks can be phenomenally conscious to a person. Phenomenal awareness arises in interaction with selective attention . Only that information in the short-term memory to which the attention is drawn will become phenomenally conscious.
- Controlled Process Model (Snyder and Posner): The model distinguishes controlled processes from automatic processes. Automatic processes are unconscious, fast, non-intentional and do not interfere with other processes, while controlled processes are conscious, slow, intentional and limited in their capacity. There is awareness of access when a process is controlled. Automatic processes are also subject to cognitive control; however, this control takes place before the actual process and is therefore different from controlled processes.
- DICE (dissociable interactions and conscious experience) model (Schacter): This model distinguishes between explicit, conscious and implicit, unconscious memory phenomena. The name of the model comes from the fact that Schacter assumes that there is a dissociation between conscious experience and the effectiveness of behavior. In Schacter's model, procedural knowledge , which influences behavior phenomenally, is acquired unconsciously, while declarative factual knowledge is learned consciously. Schacter believes that there is a CAS (conscious awareness system) in the human brain, which is connected to all processing modules and can therefore be compared with a global database. The CAS also includes conscious experiences. Phenomenal consciousness therefore only arises when the memory content of a processing module activates the CAS. Phenomenal awareness is also a prerequisite for access awareness. The executive system can only be activated when memory contents are phenomenally aware.
The psychological approaches can be criticized for not answering the mechanisms or processes in the brain through which phenomenal consciousness arises. This criticism applies to all approaches that describe phenomenal consciousness as the presence of a mental representation in a particular system. To date, psychology has no theory that can explain how and why phenomenal consciousness is related to mental representations.
Since many individual sciences are involved in research into consciousness, comprehensive knowledge is only possible through an interdisciplinary exchange. The history of science reflects this with the term cognitive science . It is understood as a collaboration between computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology.
- In cognitive architectures , psychological theories and results - insofar as they can be formalized - are integrated into complex computer models that are ultimately intended to be used to forecast and explain human behavior.
- In neuroinformatics , the basic building blocks of the brain and their interconnection have been analyzed and simulated since the 1980s . It was shown that a massively parallel connection of simulated neurons , each with little functionality, to form an artificial neural network enables the modeling of learning and processing of complex patterns , as well as cognitive abilities such as memory or problem solving . Neuroinformatics still faces the problem of initiative - e.g. B. for a learning process.
Experiments on Consciousness
Delay in time from conscious experience
The frequently cited Libet experiment and further follow -up experiments showed that conscious experience of an event occurs chronologically according to neuronal processes that are known to correlate with the event. While the consequences of these experiments for the concept of free will have not yet been conclusively clarified, there is agreement that conscious experience can occur with a time delay relative to some of the associated neural processes.
Difference between conscious and unconscious brain activity
Some of Libet's experiments showed that the difference between conscious and unconscious experiences can depend on the duration of the brain activity. In these experiments, the test subjects were given stimuli on the ascending sensory pathway in the thalamus . The test subjects saw two lamps, each of which glowed alternately for one second. The test subjects were asked to tell which of the two lamps was lit when the stimulus was administered. If the stimulus lasted less than half a second, they were not consciously aware of the stimulus. However, even if they were not consciously aware of a stimulus, the test subjects were asked to guess which lamp was lit while the stimulus was being administered. It was found that the test subjects, even if they were not consciously aware of the stimulus, guessed correctly much more frequently than at random (50 percent). If the stimulus lasted 150 to 260 milliseconds, the test subjects guessed correctly 75 percent of the time. In order for the test subjects to be aware of the stimulus, the stimulus had to last 500 milliseconds.
According to Libet's time-on theory, all conscious thoughts, feelings, and plans for action begin unconsciously. I.e. all quick actions, e.g. B. when speaking, playing tennis etc. are performed unconsciously.
The duration of the brain activity is not the only difference between conscious and unconscious experiences. The visual perception provides about one half of the fibers of the optic nerve conscious proportion of foveal perception. The other half of the nerve fibers transmit the background, the peripheral perception . At the same time - in addition to the visual sensory impressions - noises, smells, feelings, touches, inner-physical impressions etc. (mostly unconsciously) are perceived.
Experiment on consciousness in patients with severe brain injuries
Although it is believed that patients with apallic syndrome are unconscious, isolated studies provide evidence to the contrary. For example, a patient who woke up from a coma and showed no signs of consciousness showed similar brain activity to healthy volunteers on fMRI scans when she was spoken to sentences. When the researchers were asked to imagine that they were playing tennis or walking around their house, brain activity in the motor cortex was also evident that was no different from that of healthy volunteers. In another study, 4 of 23 patients with apallic syndrome also showed meaningful interpretable brain activity when they were asked questions.
Such studies raise the question of whether it is not possible to communicate with severely brain-damaged patients who are actually not considered to be conscious. Since the patients imagine playing tennis when they answer “yes” and walking around in their own house when they answer “no”, the researchers may have made it possible to communicate with the patients using fMRI scans . However, this would contradict the assumption that those patients are unconscious.
Among the variety of consciousness phenomena, self- consciousness has a prominent position in philosophical, empirical and religious discussions. "Self-confidence" is not understood in the colloquial sense as positive self-esteem , but describes two other phenomena. On the one hand, this is understood to mean the consciousness of oneself as a subject , individual or I (Greek and Latin ego ). On the other hand, "self-confidence" also means awareness of one's own mental states. The term “awareness” is often used for this.
Self-awareness as awareness of self
Self-confidence in the first sense has become a central theme of philosophy, especially through René Descartes . Descartes made intellectual self-confidence through his famous phrase “ cogito ergo sum ” (“I think, therefore I am”) the starting point of all certainty and thus also the center of his epistemology . Descartes' conception, however, remained tied to his dualistic metaphysics , which postulated the self as an immaterial thing . In Immanuel Kant's transcendental idealism , the epistemological priority of self-consciousness remained , without Descartes' metaphysics being adopted. Kant argued that the ego is the “condition that accompanies all thinking ” ( KrV A 398), without postulating an immaterial subject.
In contemporary philosophy , the question of self-awareness no longer plays the same central role as in Descartes or Kant. This is also due to the fact that the self is often viewed as a cultural construct that does not correspond to a real object. Rather, people learned in the course of ontogenetic development to assess their abilities, their character and their history and thus to develop a self-image . This belief has led to various philosophical responses. While the writer Susan Blackmore, for example, calls for the task of conception of the self, some philosophers consider the self to be an important and positive construction. Prominent examples here are Daniel Dennett's conception of the self as a “center of narrative gravity” and Thomas Metzinger's theory of self-models .
The constructivist view of the self also has important influences on empirical research. In particular, the developmental psychology deals with the question of how and when we come to the idea of a self. The investigation of external influences plays a major role, which can lead to a dissociative identity disorder with the self-perception of several selves. The ego development approach examined the course of structural personality traits . In sequential order, universal and qualitatively different stages of development were assumed, which would lie in the potential of each person and form the foundation of their self-image and their attitude towards the world. The concept of the dialogical self also illuminates questions about the origins, development and properties of the self.
Self-awareness as awareness of mental states
“Self-awareness” can also mean awareness of one's own mental states, such as awareness of one's own thoughts or emotions. In artificial intelligence , an analogous perspective is opened up by the term meta-representations . A robot does not only have to represent the information that there is an object X in front of it. He should also “know” that he has this representation . Only then does it enable him to compare the information with other, possibly contradicting, information. In philosophy it is controversial whether human self-consciousness can be understood in a similar way as a meta-representation.
A topic that has gained popularity in the last few decades is the question of possible consciousness in other living things . Various disciplines are working on its research: ethology , neuroscience , cognitive science , linguistics , philosophy and psychology .
For example, dogs, like all more highly developed animals, can feel pain , but we do not know to what extent they can consciously process it, since they cannot communicate such conscious processing. This requires brain structures that can process ideas expressed in terms of language . In chimpanzees , can learn the sign systems, and gray parrots about this has been partially observed. The gradualism , which seems to be the most plausible position check for each species again that states of consciousness can have them. This is particularly difficult with animals, which have a perception that is very different from that of humans.
For a long time it was assumed that I- consciousness occurs only in humans. In the meantime, however, it has been proven that other animals such as chimpanzees , orangutans , rhesus monkeys , pigs , elephants , dolphins and various corvids can also recognize each other in the mirror , which, according to a widely held opinion, could be a possible indicator of reflective awareness. A gradualism in relation to the existence of consciousness does not face the problem of clarifying where in the animal kingdom consciousness begins. Rather, the point here is to describe the conditions and limitations of awareness for each individual case as precisely as possible.
Consciousness in Religions
In connection with religious ideas of a soul and an afterlife (see e.g. Judaism , Christianity and Islam ) the terms spirit (of God) and soul play an essential role in understanding consciousness. According to this, human consciousness cannot be understood and explained - as attempted by the sciences - solely as a product of nature or evolution , but exclusively in connection with a transpersonal or transcendent spirituality. It is this divine spirituality which - like everything that is naturally animated - also "brings to life" or "animates", i.e. H. enable human ego perception.
In the Tanach it is said that the “rûah” (Hebrew word for spirit, or synonymously used in connection with “næfæsch”, soul, used) breathes life into the creature. It is she who exercises the vital functions of a spiritual, volitional and religious nature. In the New Testament , too , it is declared that the body only comes to actual life through the Spirit of God. It is called z. B: “It is the spirit (of God) who gives life; the flesh is of no use ”( Jn 6,63 EU ). For Paul , the distinction between the kingdom of the Spirit (cf. eternal I) and the kingdom of the flesh (mortal nature) was central. The same meaning can also be found in the Koran , where z. B. means that God gave Adam from his spirit (cf. the Arabic word rūh روح / rūḥ ) and thus gave life to him ( Sura 15 : 29; 32: 9; 38:72). In the teaching system of the Basrian Muʿtaziliten an-Nazzām (st. 835-845) the spirit is represented as a figure or being that mixes with the body like a gas and penetrates it to the fingertips, but comes out of this connection at death dissolves and continues to exist independently (cf. “Eternal I”).
In Christianity, the terms soul and spirit (also “Holy Spirit”) are sharply distinguished from the spirit of man. This also results from the fact that the former terms are closer in their meaning to the metaphysics of classical Christian fundamental theology and philosophy: namely, they suggest the existence of a non-material carrier of states of consciousness. Nevertheless, the concept of consciousness also plays a role in modern Christian debates. This happens, for example, in the context of proofs of God. It is argued that the interaction between immaterial states of consciousness and the material body can only be explained by God or that the internal structure and order of consciousness in the sense of the teleological proof of God allows conclusions to be drawn about the existence of God.
Different Buddhist traditions and Hindu yoga schools have in common that the focus here is on the direct and holistic experience of consciousness. With the help of meditation or other exercise techniques , certain states of consciousness would be experienced by breaking down personal and social identifications. A special distinction is made here for awareness, which means full awareness of the momentary thinking and feeling. It should be achieved through the practice of mindfulness . Insights into the “nature” of consciousness should be gained through one's own experience, which goes beyond a purely reflective and descriptive approach. The concept of the separation of body and mind or brain and consciousness is experienced as a construction of thinking. In general, all mystical- esoteric directions in the religions (e.g. Gnosticism , Kabbalah , Sufism, etc.) wanted to bring about a change in human consciousness. In fact, “ neurotheological ” research with imaging methods shows that years of meditation practice can lead to unusual neuronal activity patterns and even neuroanatomical changes.
Introductory texts to the riddle of consciousness
- Peter Bieri : What makes consciousness a mystery? (rtf file; 56 kB) also in: Spectrum of Science . 10, 1992, pp. 48–56 and in Wolf Singer (Ed.) Brain and Consciousness. Spektrum, Heidelberg 1994, pp. 172-180.
- Colin McGinn : How does spirit get into matter? The riddle of consciousness. Piper, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-492-23653-7 .
- Colin McGinn: The mind's eye. From the power of the imagination. Primus, Darmstadt 2007.
- Thomas Nagel : What is it like to be a bat? In: Peter Bieri (Ed.): Analytical Philosophy of Mind. 3. Edition. Beltz, Weinheim 1997, ISBN 3-89547-117-8 , (4th, revised edition 2007, ISBN 978-3-407-32081-0 )
Systematic philosophical literature
- Ansgar Beckermann : Analytical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind. 2nd Edition. De Gruyter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-11-017065-5 .
- David Chalmers : The conscious mind. In search of a fundamental theory. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1998, ISBN 0-19-511789-1 .
- Dirk Hartmann : Philosophical Foundations of Psychology. (PDF; 17.1 MB) Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1998
- Thomas Metzinger : Being No One. The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity. MIT-Press, Cambridge, MA 2003, ISBN 0-262-63308-6 .
- Thomas Metzinger (Ed.): Awareness. Contributions from contemporary philosophy. 5th adult Edition. Mentis, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-89785-600-X .
- Erich Neumann : History of the origin of consciousness . Rascher, Zurich 1949.
(Popular) scientific literature
- Susan Blackmore : Conversations about Consciousness . Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 2012, ISBN 978-3-518-29623-3 .
- António Damásio : The Spinoza Effect. How feelings determine our life. List, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-548-60494-3 .
- Daniel C. Dennett : Varieties of Mind. Goldmann 2001, ISBN 3-442-15111-2 .
- Dietrich Dörner : blueprint for a soul. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2001, ISBN 3-499-61193-7 .
- Gerald M. Edelman , Giulio Tononi: Brain and Mind. How consciousness arises from matter. Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-48836-6 .
- Gerald M. Edelman: The light of the spirit. How consciousness arises. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-62113-0 .
- David R. Hawkins , The Planes of Consciousness. VAK, Kirchzarten 2006, ISBN 3-932098-02-1 .
- Julian Jaynes : The Origin of Consciousness through the Breakdown of the Bicameral Psyche. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1988, ISBN 3-498-03320-4 (TB 1993 rororo Sachbuch 9529 ISBN 978-3-499-19529-7 ; non-concordant scan of the entire text here (PDF; 2.4 MB) - English original edition 1976, since 1990 with detailed afterword, since 2000 also as A Mariner Book ISBN 978-0-618-05707-8 ).
- Michio Kaku : The Physics of Consciousness - About the Future of Mind , Rowohlt, Reinbek 2014, ISBN 978-3-498-03569-3
- Christof Koch : Consciousness - a neurobiological puzzle . Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1578-0 .
- Christof Koch: Consciousness - Confessions of a Brain Researcher . Springer Spectrum, 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-34770-2 .
- Benjamin Libet : Mind Time. How the brain produces consciousness. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 3-518-58427-8 and 2007 as TB stw 1834 ISBN 978-3-518-29434-5 .
- Alva Noë : You are not your brain. A radical philosophy of consciousness. Piper Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-492-05349-5 .
- Steven Pinker : How thinking arises in the head. Book guild Gutenberg , Frankfurt 1999, ISBN 3-463-40341-2 .
- Karl Popper , John C. Eccles : The I and its brain. Piper, 2008, ISBN 978-3-492-21096-6 .
- Gerhard Roth : The brain and its reality. Cognitive Neurobiology and its Philosophical Consequences . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1994, 5th revised. Edition 1996, since 1997 a. as text and page-identical TB edition. stw 1275 ISBN 978-3-518-28875-7 .
- Volker Schurig : The Origin of Consciousness. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1976, ISBN 3-593-32522-5 .
- Reinhard Werth : The nature of consciousness - How perception and free will arise in the brain. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60594-9 .
- Dominik Perler , Markus Wild (ed.): The spirit of the animals. Philosophical texts on a current discussion. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 2005 ( stw 1741 ) ISBN 978-3-518-29341-6 .
- Psyche - an interdisciplinary journal of research on consciousness (English online journal, 1994–2010, archive)
- e-Journal Philosophy of Psychology
- Ansgar Beckermann : What makes consciousness a problem for philosophers? In: Logos. 4 (1997), pp. 1-19. (An introductory article)
- Peter Bieri : What makes consciousness a riddle? (rtf file; 56 kB) In: W. Singer (Ed.): Brain and consciousness. Spektrum, Heidelberg 1994, pp. 172-180.
- Consciousness ( Memento of July 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), various definitions from: Polimetrica Onlus (Ed.): The Language of Science .
- Robert Van Gulick: Consciousness. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Colin Allen, Michael Trestman: Animal Consciousness. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Thomas Metzinger : Awareness. (PDF; 104 kB), In: Hans Jörg Sandkühler : Encyclopedia of Philosophy. revised version. Meiner, Hamburg 2009.
- Bernard J Baars: Consciousness . In: Scholarpedia . (English, including references)
- Spektrum .de: What is consciousness? 2nd November 2019
- Hedda Hassel Mørch: Puzzling Consciousness: How does the spirit get into nature? A solution to the hard problem of consciousness in: FAZ January 24, 2018
- David Chalmers : Homepage with extensive bibliographies and link lists (online standard reference on the subject)
- David Chalmers: Mindpapers (bibliography on topics of the philosophy of mind , cognitive science and the theory of consciousness with more than 18,000 titles)
- Thomas Metzinger: Bibliography ( PDF ; 1.1 MB)
- Gerhard Roth : How the brain makes the soul (from the perspective of neurobiology) (PDF; 468 kB)
- dasGehirn.info - What is consciousness (neuroscientific information portal )
- Wikibooks: Consciousness Studies (English)
- Anil K Seth: Models of Consciousness . In: Scholarpedia . (English, including references)
- Tim Bayne: Unity of Consciousness . In: Scholarpedia . (English, including references)
- Duden online
- Christian Wolff , Reasonable Thoughts of God, the World and the Soul of Man, also all things in general, communicated to lovers of truth , 1719, Part I, chap. 2, section 195.
- 'Definition in Duden (1st and 2nd)
- Michio Kaku : The Physics of Consciousness - About the Future of Spirit , Rowohlt, Reinbek 2014, ISBN 978-3-498-03569-3 , p. 68 ff.
- Hans Blumenberg: Work on Myth , p. 10.
- see for example: David Chalmers: How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness? In: Michael S. Gazzaniga (Ed.): The cognitive neurosciences III. MIT Press, 2004, pp. 1111-1120.
- António Damásio : Man is himself: body, mind and the emergence of human consciousness. Pantheon Verlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-570-55179-0 , p. 169 ("Consciousness: a definition")
- Consciousness in DORSCH Lexicon of Psychology
- conscious - unconscious in DORSCH Lexicon of Psychology
- Jochen Müsseler, Martina Rieger (Ed.): General Psychology . 3. Edition. Springer Spectrum, Berlin, Heidelberg 2017, ISBN 978-3-642-53897-1 , p. 154-159 .
- see e.g. E.g. AD Baddeley: Working memory . Clarendon, Oxford 1986.
- see e.g. E.g .: MI Posner, CRR Snyder: Attention and cognitive control . In: RL Solso (Ed.): Information processing and cognition: The Loyola Symposium . Erlbaum, Hillsdale 1975, p. 55-85 .
- see e.g. E.g. D. Schacter: On the relation between memory and consciousness: Dissociatable interactions and conscious experience. In: H. Roediger & F. Craik (Eds.): Varieties of Memory and Consciousness: Essays in Honor of Endel Tulving . Erlbaum, Hillsdale 1989, p. 355-389 .
- Benjamin Libet: Mind Time: How the Brain Produces Consciousness. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-518-58427-8 , p. 133.
- Benjamin Libet: Mind Time: How the Brain Produces Consciousness. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-518-58427-8 , p. 137.
- Hans-Werner Hunziker: In the eye of the reader: foveal and peripheral perception - from spelling to reading pleasure. Transmedia Stäubli Verlag, Zurich 2006, ISBN 3-7266-0068-X .
- AM Owen, MR Coleman, M. Boly, MH Davis, S. Laureys, & JD Pickard: Detecting awareness in the vegetative state . In: Science . tape 313 , no. 5792 , 2006, p. 1402 , doi : 10.1126 / science.1130197 .
- MM Monti, A. Vanhaudenhuyse, MR Coleman, M. Boly, JD Pickard, L. Tshibanda, AM Owen, S. & Laureys: Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness . In: New England Journal of Medicine . tape 362 , 2010, p. 579-589 , doi : 10.1056 / NEJMoa0905370 .
- David G. Myers: Psychology . 3. Edition. Springer Spectrum, Berlin, Heidelberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-642-40781-9 , pp. 91 f .
- Martin Balluch : The continuity of consciousness. Guthmann Peterson Verlag, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-900782-48-2 , p. 133.
- What animals think. In: Spiegel online
- The talking monkey. on: Abendblatt.de , January 2003.
- Thomas Metzinger : Burden of proof for carnivores. In: Brain & Mind. May 2006. Article is only freely accessible to brain & mind subscribers.
- Elephants recognize each other in the mirror. In: Spiegel online. October 31, 2006.
- Magpies recognize each other in the mirror. In: Stern.de . August 19, 2008.
- Macaques recognize each other in the mirror. Stern.de, September 30, 2010, accessed February 15, 2011 .
- Justin J. Couchman, Mariana VC Coutinho et al. a .: Beyond Stimulus Cues and Reinforcement Signals: A New Approach to Animal Metacognition. In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. 2010, Vol. 124, No. 4, pp. 356-368, PMID 20836592 .
- Cf. van Ess III 369f.
- Nuclear spin in nirvana. Die Zeit, January 31, 2008.