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Sydney Shoemaker

Tim Bayne

The Unity of Consciousness

In The Unity of Consciousness Tim Bayne argues that if you have two conscious experiences at the same time, then it is necessary to think of them as unified, rather than as two separate events.

The book is in three parts. The first goes in to detail of what precisely the 'The Unity of Consciousness' means. The second part examines non-standard conscious states, such as schizophrenia, mutiple personalities, hypnotism, and that of split brain patients. Although some of these might seem to imply two or more separate streams of consciousness in the same person, Bayne argues that they do not - that the unity of consciousness is always preserved. The final part of the book looks at some of the implications of the unity thesis, such as the nature of the self, and the atomism vs holism argument.

Its definitely a book for philosophers rather than the general reader. I found some of the material in parts 2 and 3 of interest, but there was too much wordy philosophising to wade through, and in the end I began to think 'Is the Unity of Consciousness really that important an idea'. But if you think that it is then you're likely to find this book a valuable discussion of the topic.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 256 pages  
ISBN: 0199215383
Salesrank: 4454396
Weight:1.55 lbs
Published: 2010 Oxford University Press
Amazon price $57.27
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 356 pages  
ISBN: 0199215383
Salesrank: 2533873
Weight:1.55 lbs
Published: 2010 OUP Oxford
Amazon price £14.19
Marketplace:New from £14.19:Used from £11.39
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 296 pages  
ISBN: 0199215383
Salesrank: 286751
Weight:1.55 lbs
Published: 2010 Oxford University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 40.41
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 40.41:Used from CDN$ 126.68
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Product Description
In The Unity of Consciousness Tim Bayne draws on philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in defence of the claim that consciousness is unified. In the first part of the book Bayne develops an account of what it means to say that consciousness is unified. Part II applies this account to a variety of cases - drawn from both normal and pathological forms of experience - in which the unity of consciousness is said to break down. Bayne argues that the unity of consciousness remains intact in each of these cases. Part III explores the implications of the unity of consciousness for theories of consciousness, for the sense of embodiment, and for accounts of the self. In one of the most comprehensive examinations of the topic available, The Unity of Consciousness draws on a wide range of findings within philosophy and the sciences of the mind to construct an account of the unity of consciousness that is both conceptually sophisticated and scientifically informed.