Consciousness, experience, and a person's world

Jeffrey, H.J. / Published 1998 / Article

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Citation: Jeffrey, H.J. (1998). Consciousness, experience, and a Person's world. In H.J. Jeffrey and R.M. Bergner, (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology, Vol. 7 (pp. 67-106). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: An approach to conceptualizing, analyzing, and formally representing the phenomenon of consciousness is developed. The basis of the approach is the State of Affairs System. The State of Affairs System formulation provides a conceptual and technical basis for formal, rigorous, but non-reductionist descriptions of the real world, including a person acting in the world. With this formulation, consciousness can be formulated as C = <1, W, P>, where I is the individual whose consciousness this is, W is the world the person is conscious of, and P is the position in that world that the person is conscious as. Experience and feelings are shown to be aspects of the relationship between a person and their world, specifically of the unique position a person occupies in their world. A Consciousness Change Formula is presented, which specifies in terms of actions and worlds the principles that govern consciousness change. The formulation is used to address (I) how consciousness arises, (2) the physical basis for consciousness, (3) the rigorous but non-reductionist scientific study of consciousness, and ( 4) the possibility of computer-based consciousness.