Article

Other Minds

Anita Avramides

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online August 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0083
Other Minds

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The problem of other minds is a curiously neglected one in contemporary philosophy. The reasons for this are themselves a subject for investigation. It is certainly the case that the problem of other minds was at one time a standard topic in undergraduate textbooks. But in which textbooks one should look to find a discussion of this issue is an interesting question. This reflects the fact that philosophers disagree about just how to characterize the problem. There are those who characterize it as an epistemological or skeptical one: How does one know that anyone other than oneself has a mind? Others insist that the problem is a conceptual one: How does one understand the concept of mind such that it applies to oneself as well as to others? Thus one sometimes finds the problem discussed in books concerned with epistemology and sometimes in books concerned with metaphysics. Sometimes one will find a discussion of this issue in books concerned more generally with the philosophy of mind. The heyday for this topic could be said to have been the mid- to late 20th century. However, there seems to have been a resurgence of interest in the topic in the early 21st century. The literature on this topic is not vast, and sometimes one must find references to it in discussions largely devoted to other issues (e.g., our knowledge of the external world).

Article.  12206 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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