Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Carneades, Edmund Husserl and Robert B. Brandom

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4 ideas

15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
We know another's mind via bodily expression, while also knowing it is inaccessible [Husserl, by Bernet]
     Full Idea: Another person's consciousness is given to me through the expressive stratum of her body, which gives me access to her experience while making me realise that it is inaccessible to me. Empathy is a presentation of what is absent.
     From: report of Edmund Husserl (Ideas: intro to pure phenomenology [1913]) by Rudolf Bernet - Husserl p.203
     A reaction: This is the phenomenological approach to the problem of other minds, by examining the raw experience of encountering another person. It is true that we seem to both know and not know another person's mind when we encounter them.
Husserl's monads (egos) communicate, through acts of empathy. [Husserl, by Velarde-Mayol]
     Full Idea: For Husserl monads have windows because they communicate with each other. The windows of the monads are the acts of empathy.
     From: report of Edmund Husserl (Cartesian Meditations [1931]) by Victor Velarde-Mayol - On Husserl 4.7.5
     A reaction: Leibniz said his monads (which include minds) have 'no windows'. The mere existence of empathy (or mirror neurons, as we would say) is hardly sufficient to defeat solipsism.
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness
Pure consciousness is a sealed off system of actual Being [Husserl]
     Full Idea: Consciousness, considered in its 'purity', must be reckoned as a self-contained system of Being, a system of actual Being, into which nothing can penetrate, and from which nothing can escape.
     From: Edmund Husserl (Ideas: intro to pure phenomenology [1913], II.3.049)
     A reaction: Recorded without comment, to show that among phenomenologists there is a way of thinking about consciousness which is a long way from analytic discussions of the topic.
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Husserl identifies a positive mental act of unification, and a negative mental act for differences [Husserl, by Frege]
     Full Idea: Husserl identifies a 'unitary mental act' where several contents are connected or related to one another, and also a difference-relation where two contents are related to one another by a negative judgement.
     From: report of Edmund Husserl (Philosophy of Arithmetic [1894], p.73-74) by Gottlob Frege - Review of Husserl's 'Phil of Arithmetic' p.322
     A reaction: Frege is setting this up ready for a fairly vicious attack. Where Hume has a faculty for spotting resemblances, it is not implausible that we should also be hard-wired to spot differences. 'You look different; have you changed your hair style?'