The Stream of Consciousness: A Philosophical Account
In this chapter I provide characterisation and explanation of what the “streamlikeness” of consciousness consists in. I distinguish two elements of streamlikeness—Phenomenal Flow, and Phenomenal Continuity. I then show how these elements of the phenomenology can be explained within an Extensionalist account of temporal experience. I also provide criticism of attempts to conceive of the streamlikeness of consciousness in terms of the absence of “gaps” in conscious experience. The “gapless” conception of streamlikeness generates a worry about the stream of consciousness potentially being illusory, as psychological research reveals the processes underlying consciousness to be gappy. The account of streamlikeness I provide generates no such worry, and thus provides a way to reconcile phenomenological and psychological research into the stream of consciousness.
KeywordsConsciousness Stream Continuity Flow Unity
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