CONSCIOUSNESS: Ideas and Research for the Twenty-First Century


Allan Combs


This essay is a survey of the field of consciousness studies, its history, scope, and a little about its future. It’s principal focus is on Western thinking about consciousness beginning in classical times and continuing down to the present. It highlights and briefly describes major streams of thought including ideas from ancient Greece, German Idealism, British Empiricism, 20th century European phenomenology, and important contemporary areas of research and scholarship. These include American pragmatism, developmental psychology, transpersonalism, analytic philosophy, computationalism, neural networks, and physics. The essay also briefly explores possible future trends in the study of consciousness.