more from Ludwig Wittgenstein

Single Idea 5663

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

Full Idea

If I say of myself that it is only from my own case that I know what the word 'pain' means - must I not say the same of other people too? And how can I generalise from the one case so irresponsibly?

Gist of Idea

It is irresponsible to generalise from my own case of pain to other people's


Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations [1952], 293)

Book Reference

Wittgenstein,Ludwig: 'Philosophical Investigations', ed/tr. Anscombe,E. [Blackwell 1972], p.100

A Reaction

This is the best known objection to Mill's Argument from Analogy for other minds. It appears to be induction from a single instance. The better approach seems to be ABduction (best explanation), in which my own case is just some evidence.