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The Phenomenal Self$
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Barry Dainton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288847.001.0001

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Phenomenal Continuity

Phenomenal Continuity

Chapter:
(p.51) 3 Phenomenal Continuity
Source:
The Phenomenal Self
Author(s):

Barry Dainton (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288847.003.0003

This chapter focuses on diachronic phenomenal unity. How can we make sense of the flux and flow that we find in experience, and which make the ‘stream’ metaphor so apt? It is argued that to account for the diachronic unity of consciousness we need appeal to nothing more than co-consciousness, albeit in its diachronic form. According to the ‘overlap model’, which is elaborated and defended here, a stream of consciousness consists of a succession of specious presents which share common parts, and specious presents are unified by diachronic co-consciousness. This result is important: the unity of consciousness has been accounted for without appealing to the self, and on the plausible assumption that experiences occurring in unified states and streams of consciousness have a common subject, we have a non-question begging criterion for assigning experiences to subjects.

Keywords:   experiences, diachronic phenomenal unity, specious present, overlap model

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