Addressing mental plurality

Justification, objections and logical requirements of strongly partitive accounts of mind

Simon Boag*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Strongly partitive accounts deviate radically from the common view of a single, unified knower or self within each 'person', proposing instead an account of multiple knowers. This view is justified by consideration of mental conflict, and objections, including the view that conflict does not require strong partitioning, that there exists a tension between 'persons' and 'parts', and the problem of homunculi, are found not to hold. However, the problems of proposing partitioning ad hoc and ad libitum are genuine concerns that any account of mental plurality must address. The realist account of cognition, proposing that cognition is a relation between subject and object terms existing independently of the cognitive relation, provides a conceptual basis for evaluating strongly partitive accounts. On this view, any account of knowers, either singular or plural, must be capable of specifying their intrinsic qualities. Pears's account is found to be problematic here since it fails to meet this logical requirement. Maze's account is found to satisfy this requirement, providing inprinciple means of characterizing the multiple knowers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRealism and psychology
Subtitle of host publicationcollected essays
EditorsNigel Mackay, Agnes Petocz
Place of PublicationBoston
PublisherBrill
Pages727-754
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9789004188877
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of History and Culture
Volume30
ISSN (Print)09226001

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    Boag, S. (2011). Addressing mental plurality: Justification, objections and logical requirements of strongly partitive accounts of mind. In N. Mackay, & A. Petocz (Eds.), Realism and psychology: collected essays (pp. 727-754). (Philosophy of History and Culture; Vol. 30). Boston: Brill.