Is there a conservative solution to the many thinkers problem?

Ratio 23 (3):275-290 (2010)

Authors
David Mark Kovacs
Tel Aviv University
Abstract
On a widely shared assumption, our mental states supervene on our microphysical properties – that is, microphysical supervenience is true. When this thesis is combined with the apparent truism that human persons have proper parts, a grave difficulty arises: what prevents some of these proper parts from being themselves thinkers as well? How can I know that I am a human person and not a smaller thinker enclosed in a human person? Most solutions to this puzzle make radical, if not absurd, claims. Recently, however, Michael Burke and Howard Robinson proposed conservative solutions that, according to them, do not have such undesired consequences. This paper argues that the conservative solutions tacitly assume at least one of the radical ones, and therefore they provide no alternative to the extreme solutions
Keywords Many Thinkers Problem  Burke  Robinson  intrinsicness  microphysical supervenience  conservative solutions  radical solutions
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2010.00467.x
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References found in this work BETA

Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology: Volume 2.David Lewis - 1999 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Many, but Almost One.David K. Lewis - 1993 - In Keith Cambell, John Bacon & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality and Mind: Essays on the Philosophy of D. M. Armstrong. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23-38.
The Phenomenal Self.Barry Dainton - 2008 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):867-883.
Diachronic Self-Making.David Mark Kovacs - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639.
Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.

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