Rethinking other minds: Wittgenstein and Levinas on expression

Inquiry 48 (3):249 – 274 (2005)
Abstract
One reason why the problem of other minds keeps cropping up in modern philosophy is that we seem to have conflicting intuitions about our access to the mental lives of others. On the one hand, we are inclined to think that it is wrong to claim, like Cartesian dualists must, that the minds of others are essentially inaccessible to direct experience. But on the other hand we feel that it is equally wrong to claim, like the behaviorists, that the mental lives of others are completely accessible to an outside spectator. This paper attempts to address the problem of the accessibility of other minds while staying faithful to both these intuitions. Central to this undertaking is the idea that we express our mental lives in our bodily behavior. With a firm grasp of the notion of expression, as it is developed in the writings of Wittgenstein and Levinas, we can understand how other minds can be directly perceivable and yet retain a certain inaccessibility. The key is to emphasize the difference between the expressive appearance of a human being and the way an object appears in perception.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,084
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
J. Austin (1946). Other Minds. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 20:148-87.

View all 27 references

Citations of this work BETA
Fiona Ellis (2010). God and Other Minds. Religious Studies 46 (3):331-351.
Similar books and articles
Anil Gomes (2011). Is There a Problem of Other Minds? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):353-373.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

80 ( #18,345 of 1,101,944 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #41,663 of 1,101,944 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.