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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: 03 August 2021

Subjects of Experience and Subjective Perspectives

Subjects of Experience and Subjective Perspectives

(p.23) 2 Subjects of Experience and Subjective Perspectives
Self-Consciousness and "Split" Brains

Elizabeth Schechter

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a preliminary defense of the claim that the two hemispheres of a split-brain subject are associated with distinct subjects of experience. The empirical basis of this 2-subjects claim is that, while both hemispheres are the source or site of elements of experience, these elements are unified only within each hemisphere system, and not across them. In other words, consciousness is unified intrahemispherically, but disunified interhemispherically. A split-brain subject thus has two subjective perspectives, one associated with the right hemisphere and one with the left. Our first-personal way of understanding what it is to be an experiencing subject, however, makes it impossible for a single subject of experience to have multiple subjective perspectives in just the same way that another subject of experience has one. It seems to follow that the two hemispheres of a split-brain subject are associated with distinct subjects of experience, each standing in just the relation to its one perspective that I do to mine.

Keywords:   consciousness, unity of consciousness, subjectivity, subject of experience, conscious disunity

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