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The Unity of Consciousness$
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Tim Bayne

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199215386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215386.001.0001

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How to Evaluate the Unity Thesis

How to Evaluate the Unity Thesis

(p.94) 5 How to Evaluate the Unity Thesis
The Unity of Consciousness

Tim Bayne (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a framework for the third‐person evaluation of the unity thesis. The framework involves two ‘moments’: a ‘positive moment’ and a ‘negative moment.’ The former is concerned with showing that a creature enjoys certain conscious states; the latter is concerned with showing that those states are not phenomenally unified with each other. The first half of the chapter focuses on the positive moment, and argues for an approach to the ascription of consciousness that has as its heart goal‐directed behaviour. The second half of the chapter presents two ways in which the negative moment can be executed: by appeal to representational disunity and by appeal to access disunity. The chapter concludes with a discussion of ways in which two features of consciousness—its probe-dependence on the one hand and its federal structure on the other—might complicate the evaluation of any argument for disunity.

Keywords:   agency, zombies, representational disunity, access disunity, probe‐dependence, imperial models, federal models

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