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Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness$
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David J. Bennett and Christopher S. Hill

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027786

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027786.001.0001

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Unity, Synchrony, and Subjects

Unity, Synchrony, and Subjects

(p.255) 12 Unity, Synchrony, and Subjects
Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness

Barry Dainton

The MIT Press

Bayne and Chalmers have argued that the unity of consciousness is best understood in a “top-down” way: experiences are unified by virtue of occurring as parts of a single encompassing state. In the first part of this chapter, Barry Dainton argues that if this approach is to be viable at all it must appeal to a phenomenal unity relation – often called “co-consciousness” – that advocates of the competing “bottom-up” approach also rely upon. In the second part of the chapter, Dainton examines the relationship between phenomenal unity and subjects of experience. The thesis that subjects are essentially beings with the capacity for consciousness is defended against a recent objection. Meeting this objection sheds new light on the relationship between subjects, synchronic unity and time. It also suggests that hyperselves may be possible, i.e. subjects which possess multiple streams of consciousness simultaneously.

Keywords:   Co-consciousness, Subsumption, Holism, Subjects of experience, Capacities for consciousness, Hyperself, Personal time

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