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?
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