© 2010, Jonathan Trigg


It is argued that the only response to the mereological objections of the ordinary language philosopher available to the scientistic philosopher of mind requires the adoption of the view that ordinary psychological talk is theoretical and falsified by the findings of brain science. The availability of this sort of response produces a kind of stalemate between these opposed views and viewpoints: the claim that attribution of psychological predicates to parts of organisms is nonsense is met with the claim that it is only nonsensical if our ordinary ways of talking are – naively – taken to be sacrosanct. The aim of the paper is to show that the ordinary language philosopher has a reply here that the scientistic philosopher is not in a position to ignore. Namely, that the only way to resist mereological objections is to adopt conceptions of personhood that are inimical to naturalistic accounts of mentality.

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