An implication of cognitive conjointment: From individual to dividual conceptions of self

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Thomas Weight

Keywords

philosophy, self, extended mind thesis, cognitive conjointment, self conjointment, individualism, dividualism

Abstract

There is a long tradition of individualism in philosophical conceptions of self. My aim in this paper is to demonstrate that we ought to consider a departure from conceiving of selves in a strictly individual fashion. The extended mind thesis forms the theoretical basis for this claim. This thesis allows for the possibility of cognitive conjointment, wherein two people share (to some degree) cognitive processes. This possibility, so I shall argue, undermines the individualism presupposed by most conceptions of self. Taking the bundle theory of self as my starting point, I demonstrate that cognitive conjointment results in a degree of self conjointment. To account for this possibility, I formulate a dividual conception of self which is compatible with bundle theory and has the added benefit of accounting for cases of ‘split brain’ patients. As cognitive conjointment seems to lead to self conjointment in other theories of self, I suggest that we ought to consider dividual conceptions of self.

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