Posts tagged consciousness
Consciousness: Definitions in the Literature

Consciousness was thrust upon the Western psyche with its first use in the late 17th century. Since that time, the word has continued to circulate among philosophical and lay writings, yet often with more ambiguity than clarity. Consciousness in contemporary meaning goes far beyond the common definitions of perception, reflection, awareness, or an awareness of being aware. The multiple and complex meanings encoded in evolutionary and emancipatory philosophers’ use of the term deserves further study. This comprehensive exam will focus on definitions of consciousness in philosophical history during the 20th and the 21st centuries with an eye towards an ecological understanding of the contemporary term.

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What Barfield Thought

To take a broad sweep, the Inkling’s project revolved around the relation and tension between rationality and imagination. The Inkling’s were reacting against the hyper-rationality in England in their time, as exemplified through World War I and II, and taking cues from the Romantics to argue for the value of imagination. However, the argument was never for imagination instead of rationality, but the inter-relational dance between both rational faculties and imaginative faculties as two avenues in pursuit of truth. Of the four primary Inkling members, Owen Barfield provided the most developed theoretical treatment of the truth giving potentialities of imagination.

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