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Self-Consciousness and "Split" BrainsThe Minds' I$
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Elizabeth Schechter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809654.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

The Unity Puzzle

The Unity Puzzle

(p.1) 1 The Unity Puzzle
Self-Consciousness and "Split" Brains

Elizabeth Schechter

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the major philosophical debate about the split-brain phenomenon. Split-brain surgery severs the major white matter fiber tract connecting the two cerebral hemispheres. A number of individuals who underwent this surgery later agreed to act as participants in experiments designed to reveal its psychobehavioral consequences. The basic finding is that, after they are surgically divided in this way, the two hemispheres cannot interact in all the ways they once could: indeed, split-brain subjects sometimes give the impression of having two minds and spheres of consciousness, one associated with each hemisphere. A split-brain subject nonetheless seems to be one of us, at the end of the day. The aim of the book is to reconcile these apparently opposing intuitions by explaining how a split-brain person could have multiple minds.

Keywords:   split-brain phenomenon, corpus callosum, personal identity, minds, cerebral hemispheres

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