The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem

Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639 (2014)
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Abstract

Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is exactly what we should expect at the intersection of part sharing and the supervenience of the mental on the physical. I end by responding to the overcrowding objection, the personhood objection, the personal-pronoun reference problem and the epistemic objection.

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Catherine Sutton
Virginia Commonwealth University

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