- A substantial proportion of our subjective experience is beyond our consciousness.
- The first reason we have difficulty in becoming aware of our subjective experience is that we find it very hard to stabilise our attention.
- We believe that we know, i.e. in many cases we have a mistaken representation of our cognitive activity, a representation to which we hold very firmly, which makes it all the more difficult to become conscious of how it has actually taken place.
- (Claire Petitmengin)
- a) Mineness; I always experience my thoughts, my focal attention, and my emotions as part of my own consciousness; voluntary acts are initiated by myself.
- b) Selfhood; I am someone; I experience myself as being identical through time; the contents of my phenomenal self-consciousness form a coherent whole; before initiating any intellectual operations, and independent of them, I am already “directly” acquainted with the contents of my self-consciousness.
- c) Perspectivalness; ‘I am this center myself’; to be phenomenally aware means to possess an inward perspective and to take this perspective on in the subjective experience of the world and of one’s own mental states.
- Astronauts, after some time in space, tend to lose their phenomenal body axis, the subjective feeling of where the top and where the bottom of their body is. This shows that the self-model of human beings is a virtual model which is highly context dependent: Its content is a possibility and not a reality. In phenomenal experience – this possibility is depicted as a reality, as an un-transcendable presence.
- At any given time, many modular cerebral networks are active in parallel and process information in an unconscious manner. An information becomes conscious, however, if the neural population that represents it is mobilized by top-down attentional amplification into a brain-scale state of coherent activity that involves many neurons distributed throughout the brain.
- Active information survives a temporal gap only if it is conscious.
- Neurons contributing to the workspace should be distributed in at least five categories of circuits (high-level perceptual, motor, long-term memory, evaluative and attentional networks). During conscious tasks, they should, for a minimal duration, enter into coherent self-sustained activation patterns in spite of their spatial separation.
(Stanislas Dehaene & Lionel Naccache)
- In a more enlightened age there will be no such thing as religion, there will be only two sciences: objective science and subjective science. Objective science deals with things, subjective science deals with being. (Osho)
- ………….what is important is the conduct of life, for behavior is not different from righteousness. Merely to seek proof of subjective experience in no way transforms the conduct of life. On the contrary, it prevents righteous behavior because the past experience then becomes all-important and the mind is made incapable of understanding its own responses in the present. Do not let us be caught in proof and disproof, in assertions and denials, but let us understand confusion, struggle, misery, ill will, enmity, greed, and ambition. When the mind is free from all that, from all the worldly things which it creates and clings to, then there is a real possibility of stillness; and in that stillness, in that tranquillity, reality comes into being. But to ask for proof of reality is to ask the impossible…………. (J. Krishnamurti)
- ………….Yes. I don't like to use 'subjective' and 'objective'. Is there the need of experience at all? We have said: experience is the response to a challenge. I challenge you - I say, 'Why?' and you either respond to it, and say, 'Yes, perfectly right, why, I am with you'. But the moment there is any kind of resistance to that question, 'Why?', you are already responding inadequately. And therefore there is conflict between us, between the challenge and the response. Now, that's one kind of a thing. Now there is a desire to experience this, let's say god, something supreme, the highest - the highest happiness, the highest ecstasy, bliss, a sense of peace, whatever you like. Can the mind experience it at all?............. (J. Krishnamurti)
- Qualia are internal, subjective qualitative states such as the redness of red, aesthetic experiences of beauty and revulsion, pain, happiness, boredom, depression, elation, motivation, intention, the experience of understanding something for the first time, etc. Such states are subjective and private and are distinct (though causally related to) physical and neural activities.
1. Describing one’s subjective experience in the second person - Claire Petitmengin
2. The Subjectivity of Subjective Experience: A Representationalist Analysis of the First-Person Perspective - Thomas Metzinger
3. Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: basic evidence and a workspace framework - Stanislas Dehaene & Lionel Naccache
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