Arnaud Dewalque

Brentano's Mind: Unity Without Simplicity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Consciousness; Unity; Mereology; James.

This paper provides a reconstruction of Franz Brentano's mereological solution to the problem of the unity of consciousness, and explores some implications of this solution for the ontology of the mind. In section 1 I sketch Brentano's ontological distinctions between things, collectives, and divisives. In section 2 I present Brentano's mereological solution and in section 3 I review his main pro-arguments. Eventually, in section 4 I consider some Jamesian objections to the mereological approach. I argue that the notion of «mental parts» can be given a rather innocuous meaning by being conceived of as the expression of conceptual distinctions grounded in similarity and contrast relations between total mental phenomena.

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