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On Plato's Lack of Consciousness

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Part of the Studies In The History Of Philosophy Of Mind book series (SHPM,volume 4)

From our contemporary perspective, it is a curiosity of Ancient Greek that it lacks a word for consciousness. Not only is there no exact match of our word ‘consciousness’, but also every Greek word that might be taken to be getting at some aspect of what we capture with our ‘consciousness’ has a distinct meaning other than consciousness. Contemporary scholars sometimes find nevertheless a “theory of consciousness” in Aristotle, built from the resources available from his philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology. But it is unclear to what extent this is fostered upon him by our own interests, rather than actually illuminating the structure of Aristotle’s thought. ‘Consciousness’ may be one of those cases in which the language was lacking because there was no conceptual work for it to do within the framework available.

Keywords

  • Visible Object
  • Phenomenal Character
  • Comparative Judgement
  • Bodily Change
  • Phenomenal State

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Carpenter, A. (2007). On Plato's Lack of Consciousness. In: Heinämaa, S., Lähteenmäki, V., Remes, P. (eds) Consciousness. Studies In The History Of Philosophy Of Mind, vol 4. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6082-3_1

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