The River of Consciousness Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The River of Consciousness.
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The Nature of Consciousness

The nature of consciousness is the central unifying theme which ties all ten of the book's essays together. In exploring this theme, Sacks seeks to understand and illuminate how consciousness functions on both a physiological and psychological level. In addition to exploring the nature of human consciousness, Sacks also explores how we define and think of consciousness as it relate to the sentience of other creatures like plants, animals, and single-celled organisms.

In his discussion of how consciousness functions, Sacks purports two central theories: that consciousness is either a continuous flow, like a river, or that it is a series of separate moments strung together like beads on a string. He references various scholars who have supported each theory and questions how the physiological nature of vision, which makes the world appear as a continuous stream, contributes to our understanding of the nature of consciousness...

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This section contains 1,868 words
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