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Consciousness: Foundations of a Rational Theory

Harry Binswanger

Presented at: OCON 2005

Date: Jul 02, 2005

Consciousness is the faculty of awareness, of perceiving that which exists. For an individual to live rationally and be in control of his life, he must understand his mind—which means understanding what kind of phenomenon one's consciousness is, how it works and what are its cognitive requirements. But both traditional philosophies of mind—mysticism and materialism—render such understanding impossible. What is needed is a theory of consciousness based on Objectivism, a theory which treats consciousness as a natural, biological phenomenon.

This lecture presents the opening, foundational section of Dr. Binswanger's future book on consciousness. Since the book is addressed to a general audience, this lecture does not presuppose any prior knowledge of Objectivism. Topics covered include: the axioms of existence and consciousness, self-evidency, the Primacy of Existence, consciousness as an active process.


Parts: 1

Handout: none