Roland Puccetti (1993) Dennett on the Split-brain . Psycoloquy: 4(52) Split Brain (1)
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Psycoloquy 4(52): Dennett on the Split-brain

Target Article by Dennet on Split-Brain

Roland Puccetti
Philosophy Department
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia CANADA


In "Consciousness Explained," Dennett (1991) denies that split-brain humans have double consciousness: he describes the experiments as "anecdotal." In attempting to replace the Cartesian "Theatre of the Mind" with his own "Multiple Drafts" view of consciousness, Dennett rejects the notion of the mind as a countable thing in favour of its being a mere "abstraction." His criticisms of the standard interpretation of the split-brain data are analyzed here and each is found to be open to objections. There exist people who have survived left ["dominant"] cerebral hemispherectomy; by Dennett's criteria, they would not have minds.


cartesianism, cell death, cerebral dominance, consciousness, hemispherectomy, lateralization, mental duality, mental unity, multiple drafts, split brain.