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Subjectively, vigilance measures the intensity of mental presence; objectively, it refers to activation patterns and, in particular, to the energy level of the physical brain. In order to account for this dualism beyond the trodden paths, a distinction in the modes of existence is introduced. The mode in which consciousness exists is presence, the mode in which the brain exists is realness. In contrast to theories such as neutral monism or panpsychism, this modal dualism is not ad hoc, accounting for the mind-matter distinction only. Presence includes both mental presence and the temporal present. Presence, moreover, is an intrinsically dynamic mode of existing. The dualism of presence and realness corresponds to the dualism of temporal change and real change. Temporal change means that world states having been future become present and then past; real change means that world states differing in date also differ in structure or function. Temporal change, concerning the distribution of presence among world states only, is spontaneous and disregarded by physics. Real change, in contrast, is causal and energetic, thus physically objective. Vigilance represents the remarkable case of a synthesis of temporal change and real change. It is synchronized with the temporal present as well as energized by the physical brain. The hypothesis put forward is that mental presence has emerged in evolution in virtue of the inventiveness of nature to embody presence by branching off individual streams of consciousness from the overall flow of time.
Pour citer cet article :Franck Georg (2016/2). Vigilance: Embodied Nowness? On the Relation of Mental Presence to Time and Energy. In Depraz Natalie (Eds), Phenomenology of vigilance and attention. Philosophy, sciences and technics, Intellectica, 66, (pp.125-138), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2016.1821.