Science, Conscience, Consciousness
History of the human sciences 2010; 23(3): 15-28
Descartes' metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness ("conscientia") belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, "consciousness" refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be doing, and of the possibility of a gap between the two.
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