What we mean by phenomenal consciousness: Feel
Phenomenal Consciousness is the "feel", or "what-it-is-like" or "phenomenality" associated with sensory stimulation or with mental or bodily states. Contrary to other forms of consciousness which seem amenable to analysis in functional, scientific, terms, it poses a problem for science because we cannot see how biological systems obeying known laws of physics could generate "feel": feel seems to be something outside the realm of science.
Raw sensory feels
The most basic feels are surely those which are not associated with any additional component: no automatic bodily reaction, no drive or motivation to undertake certain forms of behavior, no mental associations that positively, negatively or otherwise color the feel. An example of a raw sensory feel might be that sub-part of the sensation of looking at a red surface which corresponds solely to the redness itself, and that is devoid of the knowledge that the surface is a rose petal, devoid of the knowledge that roses signify love, etc.
Feels with automatic bodily manifestations
More complex are feels that are additionally associated with automatic bodily reactions. For example pain, in addition to involving the hurtful stimulation, seems to generally involve an automatic tendency to retract the affected body part.
Feels which induce particular drives or motivations
Jealousy, love, hate, are feels which involve certain, often ill-defined, urges to do things or to modify the present situation. Emotions like fear, anger, and shame, and states like hunger and thirst, would appear to involve both specific bodily manifestations like changes in heartbeat, flushing, or other reactions of the autonomic nervous system, and also they are accompanied by drives to engage in certain particular activities.
Pure mental feels?
Mental activity like thinking or remembering or imagining might conceivably be considered to have some kind of feel. It does seem clear however that the feel of mental activity lacks something as compared to the feel associated with normal sensory stimulations. It is a matter of definition whether we want to include mental feels as instances resume writers
of real feels. Here we will generally mean sensory
feel when we talk about feel. The question of what mental feels are like requires answering however, and will be dealt with below.
One could claim that when I am distracted from my pain by a sudden event, I am still feeling the pain, albeit unconsciously. It is a matter of definition, tupperware storage
which will also be clarified below, whether we include unconscious feels as properly being included in the category of feel.
Choosing raw sensory feel as a first thing to study
The more complex forms of feel like pain and emotions would seem to be composed of a raw sensory substrate, with some additional bodily manifestations and/or drives that are superimposed. If we could just understand the origin of the raw sensory feel, then presumably we, could fairly easily move on to the complex feels by supposing that their qualities are simply composed of the quality of the underlying raw sensory feel , plus the bodily manifestations and/or drives that are superimposed. Thus it would seem reasonable to first take on the task of accounting for the very simplest feel, the "raw sensory" feel.