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Title: Consciousness
Original Title: Conscience
Volume and Page: Vol. 3 (1753), p. 902
Author: Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt (biography)
Translator: Scott St. Louis [Grand Valley State University, stlouiss@mail.gvsu.edu]
Subject terms:
Philosophy
Logic
Metaphysics
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. To use this work in a way not covered by the license, please see http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/terms.html .

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.986
Citation (MLA): Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de. "Consciousness." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Scott St. Louis. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2014. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.986>. Trans. of "Conscience," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 3. Paris, 1753.
Citation (Chicago): Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de. "Consciousness." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Scott St. Louis. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.986 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Conscience," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 3:902 (Paris, 1753).

Consciousness [ conscience ], the opinion or internal feeling that we ourselves have from what we do; it is what the English express by the word consciousness , which we can only render into French through paraphrasing.

Since, by the admission of everyone, there are in the soul perceptions that are not there without its knowing, this feeling that gives knowledge of such perceptions, and which informs it of at least a portion of that which occurs within it, the abbot of Condillac rightfully calls conscience . [1] If, as Locke argues, the soul has no perceptions from which it takes knowledge, then there exists the contradiction that a perception cannot be known; perception and consciousness need to be taken for one and the same operation. If on the contrary there are in the soul perceptions from which it never takes knowledge, as the followers of Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz claim, consciousness and perception are two very different operations. The opinion of Locke seems the better justified, because it does not appear that there are perceptions from which the soul does not take some great or small amount of knowledge; whence it results that perception and consciousness are indeed nothing more than the same operation under two names. To the extent that we consider this operation an impression in the soul, we can preserve for it the name of perception , and insofar as it informs the soul of its presence, we can give it that of consciousness.

Note

1. From now on, I will use the English “consciousness” as the equivalent of the French conscience . I have made this decision due to the way Jaucourt defines conscience in the first paragraph of this article.