Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3199-3221 (2016)

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Abstract
The unity of consciousness has so far been studied only as a relation holding among the many experiences of a single subject. I investigate whether this relation could hold between the experiences of distinct subjects, considering three major arguments against the possibility of such ‘between-subjects unity’. The first argument, based on the popular idea that unity implies subsumption by a composite experience, can be deflected by allowing for limited forms of ‘experience-sharing’, in which the same token experience belongs to more than one subject. The second argument, based on the phenomenological claim that unified experiences have interdependent phenomenal characters, I show to rest on an equivocation. Finally, the third argument accuses between-subjects unity of being unimaginable, or more broadly a formal possibility corresponding to nothing we can make sense of. I argue that the familiar experience of perceptual co-presentation gives us an adequate phenomenological grasp on what between-subjects unity might be like.
Keywords Unity of consciousness  Consciousness  Philosophy of mind  Phenomenology  Metaphysics  Experiences  Perception  Mereology
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0658-7
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References found in this work BETA

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Real Acquaintance and Physicalism.Philip Goff - 2015 - In Paul Coates & Sam Coleman (eds.), Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
Panpsychism.William E. Seager - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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