Mind and Consciousness – NOTES

Let us begin with the concepts of mind and consciousness as they are understood and applied by the author of bioperipatetic.

Mind. By ‘mind’ is meant the capacity or power of an animate organism to perceive the world and, based upon its perceptual content, intentionally navigate through the world, a world given to it through its ecological embeddedness (a concept attributable to the discoveries and theories of Dr. James J. Gibson).  Through the organism’s innate tendency for navigation it has both the power to identify ecological features that offer it support for its innate tendencies and the power to explore the world and to discover new facts of the perceived world and how these facts can serve its biological needs.  Among these needs are food, shelter, safety, defense and procreation as well as the innate need of all contact-seeking  beings to enjoy the very pleasure of discovering and flourishing in the world.

Beyond the fundamental level of direct awareness or perception of the world, more cognitively advanced animals, such as man, have the capacity integrate perceptual knowledge into higher-level cognitive forms, particularly concepts, that support the generalization of accumulated experience allowing the cognitively advanced organism to develop a framework for organizing its knowledge hierarchically, and above all, providing efficiency of cognitive processes, which include cognitive motivation (i.e. the ‘desire’ to know, to paraphrase Aristotle),  induction and later deduction.

Consciousness:  Consciousness is the form in which an animate entity experiences and retains its cognitive contact with the world.  Consciousness is the inherent capacity for and process of identifying (at all levels of cognition) the encountered facts of existence.  Consciousness has two related meanings:  (1) Consciousness refers to  the capacity to be aware of the facts of existence.  (2) Consciousness refers to the form in which and process by which those facts are retained by the mind of a conscious being.

In short, mind is the power and consciousness is the form in which that power manifests itself for all conscious animate beings.

Consciousness and Existence as Axiomatic

Consciousness is not the product of intellectual discovery.  It is a precondition for all discovery at any level of existence.  It is not a conditional fact base on other non-conditional facts.  Consciousness, epistemologically, is an axiomatic given preceding and conditioning all knowledge at all levels of cognitive complexity.  Being axiomatic, it is impossible, epistemologically and logically, to deny or question the fact of consciousness , for any such denial or questioning require that one use the concept of consciousness to resolve any denial or questioning of its epistemological primacy.   One cannot step outside of consciousness in an attempt to question or prove its ‘validity’ or ‘ontology.’   In this sense, at the fundamental level of epistemology, consciousness is irreducible.

 Published on February 5, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

NOTE: Do not cite this page.  It consists of preliminary thoughts and ideas subject to possibly radical change, revision or rejection.