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The Unity of Consciousness$
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Axel Cleeremans and Chris Frith

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198508571

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508571.001.0001

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Consciousness and co-consciousness

(p.59) Chapter 1.2 Consciousness and co-consciousness
The Unity of Consciousness

Sydney Shoemaker

Oxford University Press

It is obvious that unity of consciousness requires consciousness. This chapter argues that the converse of this is true as well: consciousness requires unity of consciousness. Its claim is about what is sometimes called ‘state consciousness’, the being conscious of mental states, events, and processes, such as beliefs, desires, thoughts, sensations, perceptual experiences, and so on. The claim is that the factors that go into making a particular mental state conscious are inextricably intertwined with those that go into making different states ‘co-conscious’, i.e., go into constituting a unified state of consciousness of which that state is a part. This is called ‘consciousness holism’; and the denial that this is so is called ‘consciousness atomism’.

Keywords:   consciousness, coconsciousness, unity of consciousness, state consciousness, mental states, conscious holism, conscious atomism

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