Consciousness – What is it and what types of consciousness exist?

Consciousness Definition – We explain what consciousness is and the differences with consciousness. In addition, social, moral, environmental, and class consciousness.

What is Consciousness?

The word consciousness (and, in some cases, consciousness) has different meanings, all related to the human mind and lucidity, that is, the ability to perceive our environment. It is not a simple term to define, and disciplines as different as philosophy and psychology have dealt with it.

Originally, both consciousness and consciousness come from the Latin word conscience, the result of the prefix con- (“union”, “together”) and the verb scire (“to discern” or “mentally separate one thing from another”), and which came from from the adjective conscius (“confident”).

Around the 1st century BC. C. this word was used to refer to shared knowledge, general knowledge, and, therefore, the self-knowledge of human beings, that is, knowledge that had to do with their existence, their thoughts, and their actions.

In that same century, however, the term was used for the first time in the sense of “remorse,” by the Latin poet Horace (65-8 BC), to translate the Greek term syneidesis (roughly equivalent to “imaginative capacity”). From then on it began to be used with the meaning of “having something on one’s conscience.”

As we can see, the word has had a history of changes and nuances that have thickened its meaning. Today we attribute to it almost all of those meanings from Latin, especially those related to self-knowledge (as in “being conscious”) and the moral judgment of one’s own actions (as in “having a clear conscience.” ).

Therefore, when we talk about consciousness we are referring to:

  • The ability to know our environment and locate ourselves in it, that is, lucidity.
  • The ability to reflect on reality and assume a position regarding it.
  • The ability to judge our actions from a moral perspective (good or bad).

The same meanings apply when we classify someone as conscious or unconscious, and for much more specific uses of the word, such as those we will see later.

Finally, we must say that consciousness, understood as the ability to perceive, understand, and judge one’s own existence, is a capacity, as far as we know, exclusive to human beings.

Furthermore, it constitutes, paradoxically, one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our existence: where does consciousness reside? what exactly is it? How is it generated? These are questions that many religions have tried to answer with the notion of “soul” or “spirit,” and that still do not have a definitive scientific answer.

Must Read:- Success | Plausible | Ambivalent | Discern

Consciousness or awareness?

According to the Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Doubts of the Royal Spanish Academy, consciousness and awareness are interchangeable in most contexts in which we generally refer to the perception or knowledge of reality, although it is common to opt for the spelling simplest, the one that does not have “s” between consonants.

But the term conscience is preferred when referring to morality, that is, the evaluation of one’s own or others’ actions in terms of good and evil.

Thus, we will say that “So-and-so regained consciousness” (that is, he woke up from a faint), but that later “his conscience judged him” (that is, he felt remorse).

However, in the case of derived adjectives, conscious or unconscious is always used, that is, the formula with “s” between consonants is used. The forms “conscious” or “unconscious” are not correct.

Social conscience

When we use the term “social awareness”, we are referring to the ability or interest that an individual has regarding the living conditions of the other members of their community.

So a socially conscious person, like this, is one who recognizes himself as part of a human collective, and understands and accepts the responsibilities that this implies.

On the other hand, people who live without worrying about their community, getting involved in it, or feeling in any way responsible for what takes place in it, are individuals devoid of social consciousness.

Moral conscience

The term “moral conscience” may be redundant in certain contexts, since the exercise of conscience is usually an exercise of morality, that is, of discernment between what is considered good, appropriate, consistent, and what is considered bad. , inappropriate or out of place.

Morality, however, changes according to the cultural framework where it is found, that is, from one culture to another, or from one era to another in the same culture. Therefore, moral conscience is also changing, and in general has to do with public opinion, and with the notion of ethics: the responsibility towards others that we have when we exercise a position, a job or an authority.

Thus, moral conscience is the ability to judge one’s own actions according to the cultural framework to which we belong. It is precisely to this type of conscience that we appeal when we perceive that our actions could be harmful or offensive to another, or when they imply values contrary to those we would like to see reign in the world if it were only up to us.

Environmental awareness

Similarly, we speak of “environmental awareness” or “ecological awareness” to refer to the degree of lucidity and knowledge of an individual regarding the environmental impact of their actions, their way of living, and their daily habits.

A person with environmental awareness is expected to live taking into consideration pollution and the degrees of environmental damage that can be prevented on a daily basis, through small actions or habits: recycle and reuse, save energy, and not consume certain brands of products. , etc.

class consciousness

The term “class consciousness” comes from Marxism, and is used to refer to the degree of knowledge that a person has regarding their own location within the socioeconomic and power relations that exist in society.

More simply put, a class-conscious person knows to which socioeconomic stratum he belongs, and therefore knows which sectors are opposed to the development and improvement of the living conditions of his social class, and which sectors, on the contrary, are favorable. to his cause.

This concept makes sense within the logic of “class struggle” proposed by Marxist philosophy as an explanation of historical change: social classes would compete with each other for control of the means of production, as some try to exploit others. to generate wealth (“The exploitation of man by man”).

Hello, I am Sunny Yadav. I am a writer and content creator. Through my blog, I intend to create simple and easy to understand content that will teach you how to start your online journey!

Leave a Comment