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

Eric T. Olson
University of Sheffield
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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176421.003.0004
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,916
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Neural Machinery and Realization.Thomas W. Polger - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):997-1006.
Will Robots Inherit the Earth?Marvin L. Minsky - 1994 - Scientific American (Oct).
Brains-in-Vats, Giant Brains and World Brains: The Brain as Metaphor in Digital Culture.Charlie Gere - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (2):351-366.


Added to PP index

Total views
90 ( #115,095 of 2,433,173 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #213,468 of 2,433,173 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes