Combining Minds: How to Think about Composite Subjectivity

ISBN : 9780190859053

Luke Roelofs
352 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
Philosophy of the Mind
Send mail

Combining Minds is about the idea of minds built up out of other minds, whether this is possible, and what it would mean if it were. Roelofs surveys many areas of philosophy and psychology, analysing and evaluating denials and affirmations of mental combination that have been made in regard to everything from brain structure, to psychological conflict, to social cooperation. In each case, he carefully distinguishes different senses in which subjectivity might be composite, and different arguments for and against them, concluding that composite subjectivity, in various forms, may be much more common than we think. Combining Minds is also the first book-length defence of constitutive panpsychism against all aspects of the 'combination problem'. Constitutive panpsychism is an increasingly prominent theory, holding that consciousness is naturally inherent in matter, with human consciousness built up out of this basic consciousness the same way human bodies are built up out of physical matter. Such a view requires that many very simple conscious minds can compose a single very complex one, and a major objection made against constitutive panpsychism is that they cannot - that minds simply do not combine. This is the combination problem, which Roelofs scrutinizes, dissects, and refutes. It reflects not only contemporary debates but a long philosophical tradition of contrasting the apparently indivisible unity of the mind with the deep and pervasive divisibility of the material world.Combining Mindsdraws together the threads of this problem and develops a powerful and flexible response to it.


Division 1: Introducing Combinationism
Chapter 1: A Universe of Composite Subjectivity
Chapter 2: Conscious Subjects, Conscious Unity, and Five Arguments for Anti-Combination
Division 2: Combinationism for Panpsychists
Chapter 3: Composite Subjectivity and Microsubjects
Chapter 4: The Problems of Structural Discrepancy
Division 3: Combinationism for Functionalists
Chapter 5: Composite Subjectivity and Intelligent Subjects
Chapter 6: Composite Subjectivity in Organisms, Organs, and Organisations
Division 4: Combinationism for Persons
Chapter 7: Composite Subjectivity and Psychological Subjects
Chapter 8: What it is Like for Two to Become One

About the author: 

Luke Roelofs is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ruhr-University Bochum. He works on a range of topics in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and meta-ethics.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.