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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 16, 1991

James Baillie
Pages 11-18

Split Brains and Single Minds

This paper challenges the widely held theory that split-brain patients have ‘two-minds’ and can thus be described as being two distinct persons. A distinction is made between the singularity of mind and the coherence of mind. It is stressed that ‘a single mind’ is not something posited to explain coherence among mental contents, but is merely a mark that such coherence holds to a certain degree. However, there is no sharp dividing line regarding what counts as a single mind. It is argued that mental coherence is always a matter of degree, and that our concept of a single mind can accomodate spit-brain phenomena.