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Consciousness and the World$
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Brian O'Shaughnessy

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199256721.001.0001

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The Experience

The Experience

(p.37) 1 The Experience
Consciousness and the World

Brian O'Shaughnessy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The experience is the most direct manifestation of the state of waking consciousness. This emerges in that being awake entails having experience, and it is experiences that constitute the stream of consciousness. The concept experience is a genus‐concept rather than a species‐concept, and is indefinable. Unlike mental events that are changes of state, experiences are the change of nothing, for experiential processes are constituted purely of lesser stretches of process and never out of mental states (there being no experience states). Experiences are therefore pure mental flux. The conscious experiencing subject is experientially directly aware of the immediate past, and of the actively intended immediate future, so that in experience we encounter the passage of time. Experience is our primary access to the reality of time.

Keywords:   consciousness, experience, flux, indefinability, mental events, mental state, stream of consciousness, time

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