Volume 80, 2006
Intelligence and the Philosophy of Mind
David B. Hershenov
Shoemaker’s Problem of Too Many Thinkers
Shoemaker maintains that when a functionalist theory of mind is combined with his belief about individuating properties and the well-known cerebrum
transplant thought experiment, the resulting position will be a version of the psychological approach to personal identity that can avoid The Problem of Too Many Thinkers. I maintain that the costs of his solution—that the human animal is incapable of thought—are too high. Shoemaker also has not provided an argument
against there existing a merely conscious being that is not essentially self-conscious but is spatially coincident with a person who is essentially self-conscious. Both the person and the merely sentient being will be transplanted when the cerebrum is. And another thought experiment will make it impossible for Shoemaker to identify the person and the merely conscious being.