David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):378-95 (1998)
It is commonplace for both philosophers and cognitive scientists to express their allegiance to the "unity of consciousness". This is the claim that a subjects phenomenal consciousness, at any one moment in time, is a single thing. This view has had a major influence on computational theories of consciousness. In particular, what we call single-track theories dominate the literature, theories which contend that our conscious experience is the result of a single consciousness-making process or mechanism in the brain. We argue that the orthodox view is quite wrong: phenomenal experience is not a unity, in the sense of being a single thing at each instant. It is a multiplicity, an aggregate of phenomenal elements, each of which is the product of a distinct consciousness-making mechanism in the brain. Consequently, cognitive science is in need of a multi-track theory of consciousness; a computational model that acknowledges both the manifold nature of experience, and its distributed neural basis
|Keywords||Body Consciousness Metaphysics Unity|
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References found in this work BETA
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Bernard J. Baars (1988). A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Schechter (2013). Two Unities of Consciousness. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):197-218.
Timothy J. Bayne (2000). The Unity of Consciousness: Clarification and Defence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):248-254.
Tim Bayne (2007). Conscious States and Conscious Creatures: Explanation in the Scientific Study of Consciousness. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):1–22.
Gerard O'Brien & Jonathan Opie (2000). Disunity Defended: A Reply to Bayne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):255-263.
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