By D. Cockburn
This publication differs from others through rejecting the dualist procedure linked specifically with Descartes. It additionally casts critical doubt at the varieties of materialism that now dominate English language philosophy. Drawing particularly at the paintings of Wittgenstein, a valuable position is given to the significance of the concept of a person in our thought of ourselves and others.
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Extra info for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind: Souls, Science and Human Beings
Body, Mind and Death in the Light of Psychic Experience. Such arguments are criticized in Antony Flew, The Logic of Mortality, chapter 10. The character of the relation between a ‘scientific’ and an ‘everyday’ picture of ourselves has an important place in Gilbert Ryle’s thinking about these issues; see The Concept of Mind, and ‘The World of Science and the Everyday World’ in his Dilemmas. 3 Other Minds 1. The need for justification John Stuart Mill writes: I conclude that other human beings have feelings like me, because, first, they have bodies like me, which I know, in my own case, to be the antecedent condition of feelings; and because, secondly, they exhibit the acts, and other outward signs, which in my own case I know by experience to be caused by feelings.
We can, then, hardly appeal to the ‘obvious similarity’ at this level as a first step in reasoning her out of her position. If the starting point of our argument is to be a claim that we can expect her to accept despite her deep-seated racism, the similarity to which we appeal will, it seems, have to be at the level of arrangements of facial flesh. Will we find similarities of this kind between the faces of our two grieving women: similarities of a degree that might be sufficient to support an argument from analogy?
I find, however, that the sequence between the first and last is as regular and constant in those other cases as it is in mine. In my own case I know that the first link produces the last through the intermediate link, and could not produce it without. Experience, therefore, obliges me to conclude that there must be an intermediate link; which must either be the same in others as in myself, or a different one: I must either believe them to be alive, or to be automatons: and by believing them to be alive, that is, by supposing the link to be of the same nature as in the case of which I have experience, and which is in all other respects similar, I bring other human beings, as phenomena, under the same generalizations which I know by experience to be the true theory of my own existence.