10 Pages

Consciousness as the phenomenological subsistence of the ego and consciousness as inner perception

In psychology there is much talk of ‘consciousness’, and likewise of ‘conscious contents’ and ‘conscious experiences’: the latter are generally abbreviated to ‘contents’ and ‘experiences’. This talk is mainly connected with the division between psychical and physical phenomena; the former being those phenomena which belong to the sphere of psychology, the latter to the sphere of the natural sciences. Our problem, that of circumscribing the concept of ‘mental act’ in its phenomenological essence, is closely connected with this problem of division, since the concept arose precisely in this context, as supposedly marking off the psychological sphere. One concept of consciousness is justifiably employed in effecting this demarcation correctly, another yields us the definition of a mental act. We must, in either case, distinguish between several thematically cognate, and so readily confounded, notions.