The origins of the classical concept of consciousness lie in ancient philosophy, in which the consciousness of those engaged in mind. Mind is synonymous with the universal laws of harmony. Cosmic world order and reason in the context of ancient culture is transmitted Heraclitean notion of "logos". Logo is both a word and thought and the essence of things. Logos in philosophy – that is objectively given content, the embodiment of reason in the cosmos and at the same time, semantic ordering of life and consciousness. This is opposed to all the senseless and irresponsible in the world and man. The value of the human mind, the foundation of conscious human activity was determined by the degree of his of belonging to the logo. Thus, in the early stages of development of philosophy of strict division of the ideal and the material in the treatment of mental processes was not.
Consciousness, soul and other mental processes Ancient Greek thinkers are often identified with the material (air, movement of atoms). Becomes the dominant natural-philosophical interpretation of the mind. In Democritus, for example, the soul, like other things, consists of atoms having a round shape, so they are able to penetrate everywhere. It is fire and heat. The soul is material, corporeal. Its properties are determined by the nature and form of atoms, their location relative to each other. Soul dies with the body.
With the introduction of the soul as a special effect, dwell in the body of man and animal (and sometimes plants), and move it at bedtime or in the event of death, due to the doctrine of reincarnation – metempsychosis. Country developed by the religio-philosophical metempsychosis – India (ind. terms "samsara", "Karma"). In ancient Greece, some spread of these ideas is due pifagoreystvu, which was characteristic of the first form of metempsychosis: "Any soul can be put on any body." In Heraclitus is a kind of protest against such an interpretation: "The heroic death, the better share." For the first time in ancient philosophy the distinction between processes consciousness inherent in the human and material phenomena, was scheduled Sophists. On the uniqueness of acts of consciousness compared to natural processes indicates Socrates. The objective content of acts of consciousness in Plato placed in special world of ideas, opposed to all the material, is unreasonable. The soul of man, according to Plato, as a special supernatural intelligent entity exists prior to man and beyond. The human body as separate things, is temporary incarnation, the seat of eternal souls. Plato, like other thinkers of antiquity, the cosmic mind, is synonymous with the universal laws and order. Just as for the whole cosmos disembodied mind is the prime mover, the source of harmony, each individual soul is the mind too, Plato active principle governing human behavior.