A central claim of this book is that the emergence of humanity involves a splitting of consciousness—the ability of consciousness to become reflectively aware of itself. But the splitting of consciousness is simultaneously the development of the possibility of fragmentation (incoherence within consciousness) and alienation (non-unity of consciousness with others and the world). Thus, through the growth of reflective consciousness, separation comes to permeate the whole of human experience. So understood, it creates the need for integration, and Rossman's discussion ultimately centers on its attainment.
Within this perspective, various aspects of consciousness, including perception, organic sensation, desire, and belief, are explored. There is also extensive discussion of personal identity or the experience of being a self. Finally, the above analyses provide the ground for discussions of freedom, morality, and being religious.
Neil Rossman is a Professor at F. H. LaGuardia College.
"I believe—emphatically—that an approach such as Rossman's to current work in philosophy of mind is truly needed. It is a judicious inquiry into the "relevance" of the most influential philosophizing today about the nature of consciousness. It will stimulate lively discussions about the relevance of the subject for today's students. " — Gerald E. Myers, Queens College