Consciousness

Generally speaking, consciousness is the introspective access to mental states. Thus by looking into our minds, we become aware of our individual sensations, perceptions, memories, thoughts, beliefs, desires and so on. This capacity for self-reflection or introspection have led us to fully appreciate how our mind works. Among the above mentioned mental states, it is our sensations that perplex us most because of its peculiar quality— what philosophers call QUALIA which to empiricists offer a stunning challenge to them because qualia, to quote one who believes in its profundity “makes consciousness so vivid and its properties so otherworldly that it seems to call for God”.

Qualia is defined as “the internal and subjective component of sense perception, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena”. The arguments for qualia’s existence come in the form of thought experiments, which is defined as a “device with which one performs an intentional, structured process of intellectual deliberation in order to speculate, within a specifiable problem domain, about potential consequents (or antecedents).” Philosophers and realists of various empiric predispositions take qualia at face value. In their view, if our sensations appears to have qualities that lie beyond the scope of physics, then they really do have such qualities.

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