more from Norman Malcolm

Single Idea 14644

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

Full Idea

If I obtain my conception of pain from pain that I experience, then it will be a part of my conception of pain that I am the only being that can experience it. For me it will be contradiction to speak of another's pain.

Gist of Idea

If my conception of pain derives from me, it is a contradiction to speak of another's pain


Norman Malcolm (Wittgenstein's 'Philosophical Investigations' [1954]), quoted by Alvin Plantinga - De Re and De Dicto p.44

Book Reference

Plantinga,Alvin: 'Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality' [OUP 2003], p.44

A Reaction

This obviously has the private language argument in the background. It seems to point towards a behaviourist view, that I derive pain from external behaviour in the first instance. So how do I connect the behaviour to the feeling?