Michael Tye, Consciousness and Persons; Unity and Identity: MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003, xv+203, $35, ISBN 0-262-20147-X

Minds and Machines 17 (3):365-367 (2007)
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Abstract

The crux of this book is expressed in one short sentence from the Preface: 'Unity is a fundamental part of our experience, something that is crucial to its phenomenology' [p.xii], and the crux of this sentence is that the unity of consciousness is not a matter of phenomenal relations existing between distinct experiences – the received view [p.17], but the existence of relations between the contents of experiences – the one experience view [p.25ff]. In its simplest form Tye's claim is that: all our conscious states, whether visual, auditory, olfactory, tactual or gustatory, whether imagistic or emotional are experienced concurrently; they 'are phenomenologically unified ... [and] ... Phenomenological unity is a relation between qualities represented in experience, not between qualities of experiences. [p.36].

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Susan Stuart
University of Glasgow

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