Consciousness is the faculty of sentience belonging only to animalia, and then only to higher forms of it. Grass has sentience of the sun; amoeba have sentience of other amoeba and of their food and environment. Consciousness goes beyond that, to the point of having awareness of which an animal can think about--and then only to the extent that each species is able to think.
"Consciousness is the faculty of awareness—the faculty of perceiving that which exists...
"Directly or indirectly, every phenomenon of consciousness is derived from [a species'] awareness of the external world. Some object, i.e., some content, is involved in every state of awareness."
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 37
"Consciousness—for those living organisms which possess it—is the basic means of survival."
“The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 18.
"The analysis of conscioisness proceeds in two principal directions:
a distinction may be drawn between the act of consciousness and the content of consciousness and the two may even be considered as separable ingredients of consciousness, and
consciousness is analyzed into its three principal functions: cognition, affection and conation. "
"Consciousness, Field of: The sum-total of items embraced within an individual's consciousness at any given moment. "
both quotes from
· 1 decade ago