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Placement Practice Job Talk—Mason Westfall
Friday December 11, 2020, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mason Westfall is a recent graduate from our PhD program and a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. Please join us for his practice job talk, which will begin at 3:00 PM sharp.
Constructing Persons: Understanding the Personal–Subpersonal Distinction
Philosophers and cognitive scientists routinely distinguish between the personal and the subpersonal. Some of what we posit as occurring in my mind is ‘me’ and some of it isn’t. Though this distinction is widely deployed, far less work takes the distinction itself as the subject of inquiry. What’s the difference between the mental stuff that’s ‘me’ and the mental stuff that’s not? I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I argue that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level—the plurality problem. The things that plausibly qualify as personal are motley. Other attempts at accounting for the personal level either cannot accommodate this plurality, or cannot explain what unifies the personal. Given arguments others have given for a pluralistic conception of folk psychology, constructionism explains and predicts this plurality in a systematic and unified way, thereby solving the plurality problem.SHARE