William James: Consciousness
William James conceived consciousness as a continuous stream
of thought that may or may not be based on sensations. Consider a scenario in
which you come home from work and are too tired to do anything. You sit down on
the couch and turn the TV on, but for a while you are simply staring at the TV
screen without paying attention to what is being played on TV; you realize that
you are hungry and should try to find something to eat. According to James'
conception, were you conscious during that period when you were blankly staring
at the TV screen?