Philosophy colloquium: Umut Baysan (Online event)

Title: Mindless Beliefs

By Umut Baysan (Oxford, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday March 24, 2022

Time: 15.30-17.00 (GMT+3)

This is an online event. All are welcome. If you would like to listen to the talk please click on the following link when the event is due to begin. 

Zoom link: 

Meeting ID: 922 4987 6436

Abstract: If group entities such as companies and organizations could have beliefs and desires, what would that tell us about the nature of beliefs and desires? I argue that it would show that beliefs, desires, and more generally propositional attitudes are not mental states. In a nutshell, the argument is that if propositional attitudes are mental states, then only minded beings could have them; but there are reasons to think that some non-minded beings could bear propositional attitudes. To illustrate this, I appeal to cases of genuine group intentionality. I argue that these are cases in which some group entities bear propositional attitudes, but they are not subjects of mental states. Although propositional attitudes are not mental states, I propose that they are typically co-instantiated with mental states. In an attempt to explain this co-instantiation, I suggest that propositional attitudes of minded beings are typically realized by mental states.

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