Friday, 30 April 2010


hello all.

I'd like to share with you something ive been studying for the past week or so and that is the idea of intentionality, the idea that consciousness is always consciousness of something.
. Whether consciousness is in a direct perception of something or in fantasy, it is insignificant to the idea of intentionality itself, whatever the consciousness is directed at, that is what consciousness, is consciousness of; therefore, this tells us that the ‘object of consciousness’ does not have to be a physical object held in perception. It can also be a fantasy or a memory. if we talk about consciousness in phenomenological terms for example; one must ask then, about the 'content of consciousness' of the intentionality, things like emotions, perceptions and judgments as surely they are subjective, one judgment or perception e.g. is not the same for everyone, in my opinion this is where we must ask, is consciousness itself subjective? and that is what i would like us to share,

is consciousness itself subjective?
are there any examples whereby consciousness can be described as being inherently objective/subjective?

please give opinions as im quite interested in other peoples ideas as well as my own.

(p.s this is my first post, so if ive done anything wrong feel free to let me know :) )


  1. sorry for the typo in the title

  2. Yes, I think so - Hegel's idea of the objective world spirit notwithstanding...

    To have a consciousness is to view the world from a particular point of view.

    This consciousness is necessarily subjective. See Thomas Nagel - he is really good on this...

    Neil Turnbull

  3. john Searle said in 2007, "that consciousness still to this day refuses to be defined," do you know what he meant by this?

    also, what about the idea of consciousness in non-humans? for example in a tiger? surely then, there is only a limited amount of subjectivity it can have? it eats, it sleeps, it creates cubs, do tigers ponder...?

    does consciousness have to be 'either' subjective or objective?

    im not trying to argue against the idea that consciousness is subjective, just trying to understand.

  4. Good luck - this is one of the most profound mysteries of the them all.

    Although conssciousness is clearly subjective, we might need to 'redefine' the subject in order to make sense of it. For one, we will clearly have to accept that consciousness doesn't happen in the brain. Consciousness arises through a compelex set of interactions between bodies, objects and other bodies. Consciousness is thus always a distributed phenomenon.

    The nobel prize awaits he/she who can make good philosophical sense of this idea though...

    Neil Turnbull

  5. Hi guys, i'm going to go off the dhart here and ask if we can talk about consciousness in the same sense as we talk about emotions. Isnt it Husserl who argues that within Intentionality we are always conscious of something within the world. Can we not say that at every state of time we are also in some form of emotion, be it happy, sad or angry etc etc???? If this were to be taken as true, then we can argue that it is a 'thing' that everyone goes through, but that it is subjective because it HAS to be, or else in rednders the 'idea' of consciousness meaningless.
    Does that even make sense? Or is that coherent??? More thoughts!!! I happen to be doing the Phenomenological question for contemporary so this is helping, haha.

  6. Yes, a good thought. Consciousness seems to stand apart from the body, whereas emotion doesn't....

    'Emotion' brings the body back into philosophy

    Neil Turnbull