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International Journal of Philosophical Practice

Volume 3, Issue 1, Summer 2005

Ben Mijuskovic
Pages 62-75

Theories of Consciousness, Therapy, and Loneliness

The article offers a brief set of definitions of metaphysical and epistemological principles underlying three distinct theories of consciousness and then relates these paradigms to a triad of contemporary therapeutic modalities. Accordingly, it connects materialism, empiricism, determinism and a passive interpretation of the “mind”=brain to medication interventions and behavioral and cognitive treatments. In this context, the paper proceeds to argue that these treatment approaches are theoretically incapable of addressing the dominant issue of man’s loneliness, and his struggle to escape from it, as the most basic universal drivein human beings. Next, it discusses the dualist, idealist, and rationalist assumptions of an active reflexive, self-consciousness, which has dominated insight-oriented treatment methodologies since Freud. And, finally, it treats the Hesperian and Sartre an phenomenological andexistential descriptions of awareness as grounded in the transcen­dent principle of intentionality emphasizing the aspects of the freedom of consciousness. Lastly, it claims that the first view stresses the temporal present; the second the past; and the third the future.