Consciousness - a Dialogical Presentation

Mendo Henriques


Consciousness is, probably, the most common and the most mysterious experience in human life. It encompasses a stream of mental activities that include knowledge and recognition, emotions and feelings, organic dispositions, and linguistic acts, as well as altered states such as those provoked by drugs and pathologies, and mystical moments.

The philosophy of mind is habitually reprimanded for neglecting to characterize exactly what consciousness is. In this regard there has been little change over the previous decades because consciousness has a wide assortment of meanings according to authors and disciplines.

Consciousness is analysed in scientific perspectives such as neurosciences, psychology, linguistics, physics, and cybernetics. Each science highlights special features of consciousness’ rooting in the subject, according to specific interpersonal contexts, biological developments and always as a mirror of the brain's complexity.

A short state of the art of consciousness’ studies is useful if it searches for constant issues beyond the variety of explorations of conscious experience. Beyond the psychology’s self, the psychoanalysis’ ego and the mental maps of neurosciences, we observe trends in the philosophy of mind that search for a dialogical ground; what relates us to the other as we say ‘I’, ‘Thou’ and ‘We’, is an essential aspect of human experience and a permanent challenge.


Consciousness; philosophy; mind; body; neurosciences; brain; machine-learning; intentionality; relationship; “I and Thou”; first- second- and third- person studies.

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