Consciousness and Commissurotomy
Wilkes (Kathleen)
Source: Philosophy - 53, 1978, 185-97
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    This article attempts to show the philosophical relevance of commissurotomy1 operations. Earlier articles contended that splitting the brain splits consciousness and the mind as well, resulting in the drastic breakdown of the concept of a person; this article finds such conclusions too extreme, as they (a) rely unduly upon problematic and obscure concepts like 'consciousness' and 'mind', (b) neglect comparable phenomena (e.G., Divided attention, self-deception) which might also be said to 'split consciousness', (c) ignore the special conditions needed to achieve the peculiar results. Philosophers of science, however, are left with the grave problem of how to describe the behaviour of these patients.

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