Other Minds

Jonardon Ganeri

in The Self

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652365
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740718 | DOI:
Other Minds

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Buddhist thinkers after Dignāga and Dharmakīrti will form the argument that reflexivism cannot solve the conceptual problem of other minds, the problem of explaining how it is possible to form a conception of a mental life distinct from one's own or conceive that there can be a plurality of minds. Reflexivism, argues Ratnakīrti out of a suggestion made earlier by Jñānaśrīmitra, entails that there are no phenomenal or intentional boundaries between oneself and others within a stream of experience. The idea that reflexivism entails conceptual solipsism is confirmed by Kashmiri Śaiva philosophers, who appropriate Buddhist Yogācāra reflexivism but transform it into a constitutive theory of self: the self just is that which consists of reflexive self‐representation. Abhinavagupta shows clearly that this view leads to solipsism, an implication he actually seems to welcome. This chapter includes a full translation of Ratnakīrti's closely argued text. These difficulties with reflexivist analyses of subjectivity constitute a partial vindication of the earlier mental files theory.

Keywords: other minds; Ratnakīrti; immersed self; Yogācāra reflexivism

Chapter.  8396 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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