INCO 796: Cosmology and Our View of the World

Lecture Notes

1995 Summaries
1999 Summaries
2000 Summaries
2001 Summaries
2002 Summaries

What is consciousness?
Hannelore Moebius

Handout 4/12/199

Dualistic Models of consciousness:

Mind & matter are essentially different kinds of essences each with its own laws and manner of existence, -divided into three different classes.

  1. Epiphenomenalism:
  2. Animism:
  3. Interactionalism:

Monistic models of consciousness:

  1. Materialism :
  2. Reductive Materialism:
  3. Emergent Materialism:
  4. Idealism:
  5. Neutral Monism:

These models of the mind also form core assumptions of the world's great religions:

Dualistic -Animistic: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam consider the human soul to be separate from the body. The body is seen as inferior to the soul, even down right evil.

Materialistic: Materialism is part of the scientific enterprise. Atheistic materialism is an active unbelief in God, soul, and afterlife.

Neutral monism: Taoism believes the world inside & outside consists of one substance called TAO (The Way) seeing mind, matter, the self and external objects as incomplete aspects of the single Great Way, and to discover the presence of this way.

Idealism: Idealism is the foundation of Hinduism and Buddhism. The world is viewed as illusion - (Maya), real reality is mental, Braman in Hinduism: consciousness, in Buddhism: Big Mind.

Vedic Scriptures say: The vibration of pure universal consciousness produced the soundless sound of OM. This created the five elements and developed further into our world. Since every thing derives from this vibration, everything must be conscious! Everything is connected through Braman, God, the invisible life energy, which is transcendent.