The Division of the Mind: Paradoxes and Puzzles
1. Beyond divisionism
The hypothesis that the mind is divided is often put forward as a means to make sense of irrationality, whether in the cognitive sphere (delusional beliefs) or in the practical sphere (weak-willed actions). In essence, the “divisionist” argument states that we cannot understand irrational actions and beliefs without assuming that the mind is composed of different sub-systems. Donald Davidson (1985b, p. 353), one of the most prominent proponents of divisionism, explicitly endorses this methodological assumption:
I have urged in several papers that it is only by postulating a kind of compartmentalization of the mind that we can understand, and begin to explain, irrationality.
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