Sentience or awareness of internal and external existence / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience and awareness of internal and external existence.[1] However, the lack of definitions has led to millennia of analyses, explanations and debates by philosophers, theologians, linguisticians, and scientists. Opinions differ about what exactly needs to be studied or even considered consciousness. In some explanations, it is synonymous with the mind, and at other times, an aspect of mind. In the past, it was one's "inner life", the world of introspection, of private thought, imagination and volition.[2] Today, it often includes any kind of cognition, experience, feeling or perception. It may be awareness, awareness of awareness, or self-awareness either continuously changing or not.[3][4] The disparate range of research, notions and speculations raises a curiosity about whether the right questions are being asked.[5]

Representation of consciousnes from the seventeenth century by Robert Fludd, an English Paracelsian physician

Examples of the range of descriptions, definitions or explanations are: simple wakefulness, one's sense of selfhood or soul explored by "looking within"; being a metaphorical "stream" of contents, or being a mental state, mental event or mental process of the brain.