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the events and information experienced by processed by human consciousness are not received in an "isolated phenomenal void." Rather, consciousness receives an experience or other information to be processed, and then proceeds to make judgments about that event, after which consciousness in induced to makes claims about that experience or information. These judgments in the "vicinity of consciousness" which are made by human consciousness in the process of interpreting and reacting to certain events or information are what Chalmers specifically identifies as the phenomenal judgments he seeks to accurately define, "not because they are phenomenal states themselves, but because they are concerned with phenomenology or with its objects".
Defining consciousness and its various components in the realm of the sciences is something that was long avoided, because it is largely subjective in nature. Explaining something that is naturally subjective using scientific or quantifiable terms is difficult, and it can result in inaccurate results that are partial to the researchers' beliefs and experiences. However, in recent years, consciousness science has become a greater focal point for research, allowing us to more fully understand the inner workings of the mind and how the body reacts to a host of stimuli.
Today, consciousness science is rooted in a number of basic techniques.
- First, psychological experiments are seen as a means of understanding consciousness. The use of subliminal messaging and stimuli, for example, is one type of psychological testing that enables us to greater understand the nature and the role of our consciousness.
- Case studies are used to understand the impact that non-repeatable events can have on our consciousness, including traumatic experiences, illness, or drug usage.
When these subjective components are coupled with the quantifiable evidence provided by scientists and medical professionals, a reliable, valid interpretation of the human consciousness is often obtained. The ultimate goal, however, is the development of an assessment technique that will enable us to fully understand the subjective and objective natures of the consciousness in a direct fashion.
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