Chapter

Being in Two Minds

Kathleen V. Wilkes

in Real People

Published in print November 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240808
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680281 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240808.003.0005

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Being in Two Minds

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This chapter examines the breakdown of unity and continuity shown by people with split brains, the case where two centres of consciousness in one body work separately but simultaneously. It continues the examination of the sixth condition, the ‘special form of consciousness’, and its unity or continuity. It argues that this condition poses no difficulty for the concept of a person, while looking at some length into the concept of ‘a mind’. Commissurotomy is a surgery carried out in an attempt to alleviate the worst effects of intractable epilepsy, and involves cutting through parts of the cerebral commissures. It presents a clear and drastic instance of conscious disunity: an individual with two coexisting streams of consciousness.

Keywords: split brain; two brains; commissurotomy; epileptic seizures; duplication; disunity

Chapter.  15548 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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