Dissertation, Baylor University (2020)

Authors
Brandon Rickabaugh
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Abstract
Co-Directors: Alexander Pruss & Tim O’Connor Committee: C. Stephen Evan’s, Todd Buras, The current state of consciousness research is at an impasse. Neuroscience faces a variety of recalcitrant problems regarding the neurobiological binding together of states of consciousness. Philosophy faces the combination problem, that of holistically unifying phenomenal consciousness. In response, I argue that these problems all result from a naturalistic assumption that subjects of consciousness are built up out of distinct physical parts. I begin by developing a Husserlian mereology of part-whole relations, which I apply to both an ontology of the holistic unity of the subjects of consciousness and the holistic unity of phenomenal consciousness itself. After a detailed analysis of the ontology and neuroscience of phenomenally unified consciousness, I argue against the three major naturalist views: physicalism, Russellian panpsychism, and emergentism. I develop various arguments demonstrating that these views each fail to account for the possibility of subjects of phenomenally unified consciousness. In the final chapter, I show how these arguments entail that the subject of phenomenal unity must be partless, must be a simple holistic unity. In turn, this provides a defense of substance dualism or at least something near enough. Given the widespread rejection of mind-body dualism, I answer certain neurological objections and conclude by sketching the details of an underexplored neo-Aristotelian form of substance dualism. I conclude that each of us, indeed every subject of phenomenally unified consciousness, is not made up of distinct parts. Not a brain. Not a body. Every embodied subject of phenomenally unified consciousness is a bodily soul.
Keywords Consciousness  Panpsychism  Emergentism  Unity of Consciousness  Philosophy of Neuroscience  Achilles Argument  Ontology of the Human Person
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,262
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Consciousness and Fundamental Reality.Philip Goff - 2017 - New York, USA: Oup Usa.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.

View all 123 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Unity of Consciousness.Tim Bayne - 2010 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Unity of Consciousness: Clarification and Defence.Tim Bayne - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):248-254.
The Unity of Consciousness: Subjects and Objectivity.Elizabeth Schechter - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):671-692.
Attentional Organization and the Unity of Consciousness.Sebastian Watzl - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):56-87.
Two Unities of Consciousness.Elizabeth Schechter - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):197-218.
Unity of Consciousness and the Self.David M. Rosenthal - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):325-352.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-11-08

Total views
51 ( #211,219 of 2,455,634 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #65,398 of 2,455,634 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes