Single Idea 3457

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / d. Other minds by analogy]

Full Idea

If we inferred other minds simply from behaviour, we would conclude that radios are conscious; it is rather the combination of behaviour with knowledge of the causal underpinnings of behaviour.

Gist of Idea

Other minds are not inferred by analogy, but are our best explanation


John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 1.V.4)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.22

A Reaction

Personally I am inclined to think that Searle has said the last word on the fairly uninteresting problem of other minds. Dualism generates a deep privacy problem, and analogy is a flawed argument, but best explanation is exactly what we rely on.