Thompson Clarke and the problem of other minds

The force of sceptical inquiries into out knowledge of other people is a paradigm of the force that philosophical views can have. Sceptical views arise out of philosophical inquiries that are identical in all major respects with inquiries that we employ in ordinary cases. These inquiries employ perfectly mundane methods of making and assessing claims to know. This paper tries to show that these inquiries are conducted in cases that lack certain contextual ingredients found in ordinary cases. The paper concludes that these ordinary methods of inquiry, when employed in these limited cases, put us in a position in which we actually cannot know. Thus our ability to know will be a function of the added contextual elements that are found in ordinary cases. A second conclusion is that we come literally to observe bodily behaviour in the course of the sceptical inquiry; while in ordinary cases we observe pain-behaviour.
Keywords Thompson Clarke  Austin  skepticism
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DOI 10.1080/0967255042000324308
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