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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Philosophical interest in unity of consciousness goes back at least to Kant. A recent revival of interest among analytic philosophers of mind focuses on unity of consciousness, construed as phenomenal unity. This chapter will survey some of the issues and questions that have been central to this recent work before sketching an alternative to what may be seen as a dominant, though implicit, tendency in the recent literature on unity: to formulate the idea that phenomenal unity is a natural feature of consciousness in terms of what the chapter will term the Unity Thesis. According to this thesis, all synchronous experiences of a conscious subject at a moment are phenomenally unified with each other. The chapter then rebuts another trend in recent literature: the tendency to understand phenomenal unity as obtaining in virtue of a type of oneness or singularity. The chapter advances an alternative that sees phenomenal unity as obtaining in virtue of connectivity conditions over relations among phenomenal experiences.

Keywords: Unity of consciousness, phenomenal unity, extrinsic unity, connectivity

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