Tim Bayne
Monash University
One of the many fault-lines within accounts of consciousness concerns the unity of consciousness. Some theorists claim that consciousness is unified—indeed, some theorists insist that consciousness is essentially unified. Other theorists assert that the unity of consciousness is an illusion, and that consciousness is often, if not invariably, disunified. Unfortunately, it is rare for proponents of either side of the debate to explain what the unity of consciousness might involve. What would it mean for consciousness to be unified? In this chapter I provide a brief cartography of the unity of consciousness. In the next section I introduce a number of unity relations that can hold between conscious states, and in the following sections I show how these unity relations can be used to construct various conceptions of the unity of consciousness—what I call unity theses. These unity theses provide us with a set of reference points by means of which we can orient discussions of the unity of consciousness.
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