Skip to content
Culture & Religion

Two Kinds of Consciousness

While self-awareness may be unique to humans, we share a different kind of consciousness—phenomenal consciousness—with many animals, says philosophy professor Ned Block.

One kind of consciousness emphasizes wakefulness, self-awareness, reflection and rationality—what one might call self-consciousness. But there is also a different kind, as anyone who knows what it is like to have a headache, taste chocolate or see red can attest. Self-consciousness is a sophisticated and perhaps uniquely human cognitive achievement. Phenomenal consciousness by contrast—what it is like to experience—is something we share with many animals. A person who is drunk or delirious or dreaming can be excruciatingly conscious without being wakeful, self-aware or aware of his surroundings.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam id tincidunt mi. Morbi malesuada nulla sit amet est hendrerit tincidunt. Etiam viverra, nisl id volutpat eleifend, est augue sodales orci, […]

Up Next