Single Idea 9282

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

Full Idea

One can ascribed states of consciousness to oneself only if one can ascribe them to others. One can ascribe them to others only if one can identify other subjects of experience, and they cannot be identified only as subjects of experience.

Gist of Idea

I can only apply consciousness predicates to myself if I can apply them to others


Peter F. Strawson (Individuals:Essay in Descript Metaphysics [1959], 3.4)

Book Reference

Strawson,Peter F.: 'Individuals: Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics' [Methuen University 1974], p.100

A Reaction

A neat linguistic twist on the analogy argument, but rather dubious, if it is actually meant to prove that other minds exist. It is based on his view of predicates - see Idea 9281. If the rest of humanity are zombies, why would I not apply them?

Related Idea

Idea 9281 The idea of a predicate matches a range of things to which it can be applied [Strawson,P]