chapter  18
18 Pages

Consciousness as existence, farewells

What is the difference, the difference of what we call my consciousness, between me and a chair in this room? What is that difference between you and a chair? Well, for each of us, a world now exists. In the case of a chair, there isn’t one. Isn’t that roughly what is left out of the computerized philosophy of mind, the meagre and timid accounts of our existence limited to the electrochemical traffic in our brains and its relations to input and output – say the input of light on our retinas and the output of movements of chairs? Those accounts leave out that my consciousness consists in the existence of a world. So began my report of my brand new thinking on my old subject, the nature of consciousness, in the first of the 1996-97 lectures of the Royal Institute of Philosophy in Gordon Square.