Brains

In Eric T. Olson (ed.), What Are We? Oxford University Press (2007)
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Abstract

This chapter considers the view that we are literally brains. It argues that the view is best supported by the claim that brains are the primary subjects of mental properties, giving a “thinking‐brain problem” analogous to the thinking‐animal problem that supports animalism. The brain view is shown to have implausible consequences about our identity through time, and to presuppose that something is a part of a thinking being if and only if it is directly involved in that being's mental processes. It is then argued that the notion of direct involvement is too interest‐relative to give this principle any useful content, and that the principle is in any case unfounded.

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Eric T. Olson
University of Sheffield

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