Metaphysics and Epistemology Group (Tuesday - Week 6, MT23)

epistemology reading group

The apparent conflict between the claim that I am this animal and the claim that I must go where my mind goes derives from cases in which it is thought that my mind goes somewhere yet this animal does not. But any judgment that a case in one in which this occurs will depend both on assumptions concerning what happens to this animal in the case and on assumptions concerning the mental facts in the case. In this paper, I explore the grounds for the relevant assumptions concerning the mental facts in such cases. I argue that these assumptions rely on a certain view concerning the preservation of reference-involving mental properties; that other views are not only coherent but plausible; and that we need a principled reason for choosing any one of these views over the others. Ultimately, I suggest, this prevents such cases from being used to generate the conflict identified above, and allows us to harmonise the claims in question without adopting any implausible commitments concerning the nature of this animal or the nature of mind.

Metaphysics and Epistemology Group Convenors: Bernhard Salow, Nick Jones and Alex Kaiserman