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59622Re: Mething Things

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  • Jim
    Mar 30, 2013
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      I think what you write here is ambiguous between types of thought (individuated by content) and thought tokens (individuated by the person who has the thought and by time).

      To give an example. You and I can both think the thought `2+2=4'. Here there is one thought content: that 2+2=4, but two individual thoughts, one had by me at approx 09.16 UK time on 30 March in Nottingham, England, and one had by you somewhere in America when you read this.

      So there is both a sense in which you and I can think the same thought (entertain the same thought content) and a sense in which we cannot think the same thought (your thought tokens are yours and even by swapping brains I cannot own your thought).

      Similarly, suppose I thought yesterday `David Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom', and I think the same thought today. Counting thought contents there is only one: that David Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but counting thought tokens (thinking occurrences) there are two thoughts here – the one I had yesterday and the one I had today. And there is the same ambiguity: in one sense I can have the same thought I had yesterday (if we are talking about thought contents) and another sense in which I cannot have the same thought I had yesterday (I cannot go back in time and relive my life again from 24 hours ago.)


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "fictiveparrot" <knott12@...> wrote:
      > > I don't know that I can claim any originality
      > > with this thought experience, but why does it matter?
      > Well, if you think it, it is necessarily yours. How do you think someone else's thoughts?
      > Thatkant B. Wright
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