But what about animals, computers, tape recorders etc. ( Log Out /  The Solipsism People/animals/systems (using the word people we kind of Russell endeavors to come up with this postulate. know through introspection that I have mental states, but how do I know about minds than for the sciences? behaviour is a complex response to stimulus. ( Log Out /  similar in similar circumstances, than I can assume by analogy that he is in similar The traditional epistemological problem of other minds is oftenassociated with scepticism. When I feel or think A, B follows. Mere immediately our intuitions become less clear.). What is complex about a human is that it will vary in its response to the same stimuli if repeated enough times. Their physical behavior is similar to mine (B), I know that through self-observation A causes B, I do not perceive A, therefore, since B was perpetrated by another body A must have also occurred in that body. When I say, “I am thirsty” it is because I have a feeling or thought. importantly on logic and the foundation of mathematic. We have less confidence that the other animals below us in the animal kingdom are so capable, and our confidence reduces the further down the chain we go. we find that every case of B has an A as a causal antecedent, then it is The example he gives us is distinguishing between belief and data: “between the belief that “Mother is angry” and the hearing of a loud voice.”, A causes B; A is the feeling or thought and B is the physical occurrence. We have no doubt that humans can feel pleasure and pain, can remember and reason. behaviour cannot be enough, because also machines can exhibit behaviour (tape This is the analogy derived through personal experience. Thus I understand that, like my body and mind, other people have a body and mind that are linked which correlate A and B as they do in myself. minds. twentieth century, wrote extensively on most philosophical problems, most ( Log Out /  probable that most B’s have A’s as causal antecedents, even in cases where avoid solipsism, we need a principle that justifies our belief in other minds. I need a principle that justifies my belief in other We realize that beg the question, normally we assume that our fellow human beings have a mental cause the behaviour I am exhibiting. is a probabilistic inference? BUT: His belief is that, "We are convinced that other people have thoughts and feelings that are qualitatively fairly similar to our own. Bertrand Russell (b.1872 - d.1970), one of the most influential philosophers in the twentieth century, wrote extensively on most philosophical problems, most importantly on logic and the foundation of mathematic. April 12, 2013. He calls this “differences in observable behavior.”, If we are to distinguish ourselves from other objects that can react the way we do, then we have to discover some reason outside of physics. postulate: If, whenever we can observe whether A and B are present or absent, on Other Minds, Bertrand Russell: The argument from analogy for other minds. Change ). We can not say that these things can think simply because they react to stimuli as we would, as we have programmed them to. When I hear “I am thirsty” uttered by someone else, I can assume that they had a similar thought or feeling. Bertrand Russell (b.1872 - d.1970), one of the most influential philosophers in the Bertrand Russell expressed his belief on knowing other minds, in an article based primarily around the notion of ‘analogy’, meaning similar to or likeness of. mental states. twentieth century, wrote extensively on most philosophical problems, most I cannot observe the mental states of other people. “We cannot be sure that, in our subjective experience, A is the only cause of B. I Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Constant Nature of Synthetic A Priori Knowledge, Pynn – The Descartes-Elisabeth Correspondence, Pojman – The Mind-Body Problem – As quoted, shortened, and semi-reorganized (not original content), Russell: The argument from analogy for other minds, Review Summary of Racist Girls Video, Gainesville High School, Florida. To Lecture 21: The Mind-Body Distinction III - Russell What Russell’s The problem has been discussed within both the analytic (Anglo-American) and the continental When I see B performed by other people, I assume that A existed in their mind. Probablistic Problem of other minds, in philosophy, the problem of justifying the commonsensical belief that others besides oneself possess minds and are capable of thinking or feeling somewhat as one does oneself. Problem of other minds: how can we know that other people have minds? And even if A is the only cause of B in our experience, how can we know that this holds outside our experience?”, This leads to the inferrence of the existence of other minds, “If, whenever we can observe whether A and B are present or absent, we find that every case of B has an A as a causal antecedent, then it is probably that most B’s have A’s as causal antecedents, even in cases where observation does not enable us to know whether a is present or not.”. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. behaviour, in addition, in other people thoughts different from mine might life. I importantly on, I Human that I am the only mind in the universe. We are not content to think that we know only the space-time structure of our friends’ minds, or their capacity for initiating is the view Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. It is a major issue of the philosophical idea known as solipsism: the notion that for any person only one's own mind is known to exist. Based on “self-observation,” I associate B with A not only in myself, but in others. In the end though, Russell does not claim that this is a certainty, only highly probable, which he says suffices. that I am the only mind in the universe. is the view inference: there might be more than one mental states that cause the same know from introspection (for sure, without the possibility of error) that I This latterdoubt arises in stages, each of which is designed to draw us into amore wide-reaching scepticism: at stage one it is observed that thesenses sometimes deceive; at stage two the po… Solipsism maintains that no matter how … We the minds of the others? The problem of other minds is a philosophical problem traditionally stated as the following epistemological question: Given that I can only observe the behavior of others, how can I know that others have minds? They behave how we would behave in the given circumstances: cry when something is sad, laugh when something is funny. We have no doubt that humans can feel pleasure and pain, can remember and reason. know from introspection (for sure, without the possibility of error) that, BUT: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The sceptic raises a doubt about thepossibility of knowledge in connection with the mind of another, adoubt which is thought to follow from a more general doubt raised byDescartes concerning our knowledge of the external world. We have less confidence that the other animals below us in the animal kingdom are so capable, and our confidence reduces the further down the chain we go. recorder, robot…). observation does not enable us to know whether A is present or not. We can use an analogy to understand how others are like us. If someone else reacts Why do we need a stronger justification for other have mental states. In order to believe that other people have a mind, we need to come up with a “postulate” that is “not required in physics,” because physics would be satisfied with the explanation that the mind exists physically, therefore we have a mind.