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The Character of Consciousness$
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David J. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.001.0001

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What Is the Unity of Consciousness?

What Is the Unity of Consciousness?

Chapter:
(p.497) 14 What Is the Unity of Consciousness?
Source:
The Character of Consciousness
Author(s):

David J. Chalmers (Contributor Webpage)

Tim Bayne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.003.0014

This chapter addresses another Kantian topic: the unity of consciousness. It looks at certain arguments that have been made against the unity of consciousness to determine whether they are good arguments against the unity thesis as we understand it. After fleshing out the unity thesis further, it applies the thesis to certain currently popular philosophical theories of consciousness, arguing that the thesis is incompatible with these theories: if the unity thesis is true, then these theories are false. The goal is not to conclusively prove the unity thesis, and indeed it is not certain that it is true. But it is suggested at least that the thesis is plausible, that it captures a strong intuition about the nature of consciousness, and that there are no knockdown arguments against it. If the thesis is true, it is likely to have important consequences for a theory of consciousness.

Keywords:   unity of consciousness, theory of consciousness, unity thesis, Kant, nature of consciousness

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