Author: Natsoulas, Thomas
Affiliation: U California, Davis
Title: The unity of consciousness.
Source: Behaviorism, 1979 Fal, 1979. 7 (2): p.45-63Reference.
Language: English
Subjects: Thesaurus terms: Awareness Psychological Terminology Self Perception
Added Keywords: definition of totality of consciousness
Classification Code: History & Systems (2140)
Population Terms: Human
Abstract: Discusses theOxford English Dictionarydefinition of consciousness as "the totality of the impressions, thoughts, and feelings which make up a person's conscious being." The questions of how individuals integrate present awareness of mental episodes with past episodes, how individuals identify episodes as occurring to themselves, and how one may account for problems of misidentification (e.g., depersonalization or the silent voices of some schizophrenics) are analyzed. Some answers to these questions are presented from the work of J. Locke, L. Wittgenstein, S. Shoemaker (1968), and D. M. Armstrong (1968). It is concluded that there are inadequacies in the theories of appeal to substance, the causal relation to one body, and the postulation of a thinking substance. It is suggested that (a) the unity of consciousness should be considered as a matter of degree and, sometimes, of achievement, and (b) unity occurs insofar as individuals acknowledge all the mental episodes that have occurred in their physical organism, claim them as part of themselves, and are able to communicate them. (53 ref) ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)