Difference between Consciousness and Awareness

Key Difference: Consciousness is defined as a state of awareness, or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. Awareness, on the other hand, is described as the state or ability to perceive. Awareness is the ability to feel, to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.

Consciousness and Awareness are two concepts that are very familiar in philosophy; however that does not mean that these concepts are straightforward and clear. As is the case with all fundamentally abstract concepts, their meaning is very debatable, with each person and philosopher having their own take on the matter.

For the basic purpose of the matter, the concepts are considered to be the same. In fact, Consciousness is defined as a state of awareness, or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. Awareness, on the other hand, is described as the state or ability to perceive. Awareness is the ability to feel, to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.

Hence, it is safe to say that for the most part, both the concepts are considered to be the same. However, one should note that the definition of Consciousness and Awareness may differ in psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and other related sciences.

In the general aspect, consciousness is considered to being just aware, aware of yourself, aware of others, aware of your surroundings, etc. Being aware, or awareness is having the ability to be notice, react to and interact with self, others and surroundings.

It is difficult to pinpoint what exactly constitutes as consciousness and awareness. This has led to various philosophical discussions on the matter. For example: if a robot seems to react to its environment, is it considered to have consciousness and awareness? Or is it negated because it is programmed to some extent? Then again isn’t a person’s consciousness and awareness programmed to some extent by their peers?

Comparison between Consciousness and Awareness:

 

Consciousness

Awareness

Description

Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.

Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

The condition of being conscious: the normal state of being awake and able to understand what is happening around you. A person's mind and thoughts.

Knowing that something (such as a situation, condition, or problem) exists. Feeling, experiencing, or noticing something (such as a sound, sensation, or emotion). Knowing and understanding a lot about what is happening in the world or around you.

Also Known As

It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.

It has been defined as: sentience, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, perception, etc.

Image Courtesy: unlimitedboundaries.ca, thepracticingmind.com

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