The Problem of the Unity of Consciousness: A Study of Apperception and Reflection

Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder (1988)

Scot Anderson
University of Colorado, Boulder
The problem of the unity of consciousness gains its impetus from the work of Immanuel Kant in The Critique of Pure Reason. The problem Kant leaves us is that the unity of consciousness is taken to be the ground for and basis of the very possibility of our having the kinds of experiences that we have. Yet while this unity explains all sorts of phenomena, it itself remains in some very real sense beyond our grasp. To unravel the problem of the unity of consciousness we must explore the way in which consciousness reveals itself to us and break through certain paradoxes that arise during this quest. The uncovering of pure reflection by the work of the phenomenologists reveals to us that consciousness is intentional. We also discover that consciousness is at the same time a non-positional self-consciousness. This basic structure of consciousness, which I name "apperception", accounts for the unity of consciousness. By examining consciousness in apperception we see that the unity of consciousness is organic
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