This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association had to be hosted online, rather than in person. This conference is the largest philosophy conference in the U.K., with hundreds of guests presenting and in attendance, meaning the logistics of transferring to online could be problematic.
The solution that the organisers came up with was to have the Keynote talks streamed live, and have the short talks uploaded and hosted on a video platform – YoutTube, Vimeo etc. The exciting consequence of this reformatting is that there will be loads of great online videos of philosophers presented their new, exciting, and interesting work.
One video that doesn’t particularly fall into the same camp as those, but which has been uploaded for the reformatted conference is my own.
The title of the presentation is ‘Combing Exclusive Conscious Perspectives’. In this talk I outline, very quickly and in little detail (15 minutes was the maximum amount of time allowed), the ‘real combination problem’ as formulated by Sam Coleman:
Real combination problem: subjects cannot be proper parts of other subjects because their perspectives are essentially exclusive, and exclusivity precludes parthood.
To address this problem I ask ‘what is responsible for exclusivity?’ and survey some potential features of consciousness. Ultimately I argued that either 1) the features don’t in fact preclude parthood relations (if essential), or 2) if they do preclude parenthood, then are likely not essential features of consciousness (so we don’t need to worry about all mereologically related subjects having them).
You can watch the video here: