PHENOMENAL UNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN SYNCHRONIC AND DIACHRONIC ASPECTS

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Fenomenal''noe edinstvo soznaniya v sinkhronicheskom i diakhronicheskom aspektakh
Author(s): 
Maria A. Sekatskaya
Saint Petersburg State University
Issue number: 
No.4 (Vol.54)
Pages: 
123-135
Abstract: 

Synchronic and diachronic unity of consciousness and their interrelation pose interdisciplinary problems that can only be addressed by the combined means of philosophical and scientific theories. In the first part of the article the author briefly reviews psychological and materialistic accounts of personal identity. Historically these accounts were introduced to solve the problem of diachronic identity of persons, i.e., the problem of their persistence through time. She argues that they don’t explain how synchronic unity of consciousness, subjectively experienced as the unity of the phenomenal field, correlates with diachronic identity of persons. In the second part of the article the author reviews Tim Bayne’s “virtual phenomenalism”. In the third part of the article she formulates two questions that virtual phenomenalism has to answer in order to solve the problems that face both the psychological and the materialistic accounts of personal identity. The first question concerns some cognitive and neurobiological characteristics of consciousness that Bayne invokes in order to propose an original solution of the problem of the synchronic unity of consciousness. It might be asked whether the same characteristics can undermine Bayne’s solution of the problem of the diachronic unity of consciousness. The second question is a development of Bernard Williams’ arguments against psychological accounts of personal identity. The author suggests that similar arguments can be used against virtual phenomenalism.

Keywords: 
synchronic and diachronic unity of consciousness, personal identity, virtual phenomenalism, Tim Bayne
References: 

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DOI: 
10.5840/eps201754477
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