The logic of consciousness


  • This paper is based on an address delivered on 3 September 1984 at the 23rd International Congress of Psychology, Acapulco, Mexico.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, 6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.


Consciousness is analysed in terms of a teleological interpretation of brain functioning. Thanks to the fundamentally dialectical - as well as demonstrative - logic of reasoning in human mentation, it is possible to see how formal and final causation function in higher mental processes. Human behaviour must be understood as a premised activity in which the person qua logician ‘takes a position’ on life's experiences, and in so doing manifests what we have traditionally referred to as consciousness. The theoretical construct of telosponsivity is introduced to capture this logical process of framing experience and behaving for the sake of the meanings premised. Relevant empirical findings on the human brain, as well as on a range of behaviours spanning subhuman to human phenomena, are marshalled in support of the teleological view under espousal.