Aspects of the unity of consciousness and everyday memory failures

Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):372-385 (2006)
Abstract
We argue that analyzing everyday memory failures in terms of the “unity of consciousness” can elucidate the bases of such failures. A perfect unity amongst one’s mental states is rare. In extreme cases the unity of consciousness can breakdown in dramatic fashion , but such breakdowns also occur in less dramatic ways that affect us in everyday life. For example, disruptions in the unity of consciousness can result in everyday memory failures, such as forgetting to put on a tie for an important formal meeting. After providing some philosophical background into the notions of “unity of consciousness” and “functionalism,” we offer preliminary analyses of three examples of everyday memory failure. We then introduce and develop what we call the “unity model” of memory failure and show how it explains the examples. We also describe different ways that unity can break down which, in turn, can lead to memory failure and inappropriate behavior. We then show how slips of action and other kinds of cognitive failures differ from everyday memory failures. Finally, we examine alternative models arguing that the unity model is preferable, and then show how our model is consistent with some experimental results
Keywords *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  *Forgetting
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Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Schechter (2013). Two Unities of Consciousness. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):197-218.
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Josh Weisberg (2001). The Appearance of Unity: A Higher-Order Interpretation of the Unity of Consciousness. Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Conference of The Cognitive Science Society.
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