Meaning, God, Volition, and Art: How Rightness and the Fringe Bring it All Together

Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (3-4):154-176 (2014)
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This paper investigates how global coherence is represented in consciousness. It summarizes various lines of research that I have developed over the last twenty years, employing a method that intersects phenomenological with bio-functional analysis. The phenomenological analysis derives from William James's treatment of the fringe, especially a component feeling he called 'right direction'and I call 'rightness'. My bio-functional analysis centres on the limitations of consciousness, and the design strategies that have evolved to finesse these limitations. I argue that fringe phenomenology, in general, has been shaped by its cognitive functions. The function of rightness, in particular, is to represent degrees of fit between a conscious content and the vast body of relevant non-conscious context information. Rightness, then, signals degrees of global positive evaluation. Phenomenologically, rightness is the common element in our feeling that something is a coherent whole: that it is meaningful, correct, fits together, makes sense. It is at the heart of the Aha! experience and, when intense, aesthetic and mystical experience. This analysis also provides a new argument for the efficacy of conscious volition, and a general view of consciousness as a biological information bearing medium



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The uncanny valley as fringe experience.Bruce Mangan - 2015 - Interaction Studies 16 (2):193-199.

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References found in this work

A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness.Bernard J. Baars - 1988 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sensation's ghost: The nonsensory fringe of consciousness.Bruce Mangan - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
The Three Pillars of Zen.Philip Kapleau - 1965 - Philosophy East and West 15 (3):288-289.
What Feeling Is the “Feeling of Knowing?”.Bruce Mangan - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (4):538-544.

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