Teaching Philosophy 1 (2):179-181 (1975)

Douglas C. Long
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
D. C. Long’s review of a monograph Godfrey Vesey prepared on the problem of our knowledge of other minds for the Open University series on problems of philosophy. Vesey discusses philosophers’ disenchantment with the traditional argument from analogy as a solution to the problem. This has been fostered by Wittgensteinian objections to the idea that psychological words get their meaning by reference to our own “private” experiences. Vesey similarly argues for the thesis that a person cannot be said to understand such words unless he or she understands both first—and other-person uses of the words. The role of “public” behavioral expression of psychological states is crucial to such understanding. P hilosophical skepticism about whether other human beings have minds is incoherent.
Keywords other minds, skepticism, mean of words for "  private"   sensations  Wittgenstein, behavioral expression, minds  understanding sensation words, argument from analogy
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ISBN(s) 0145-5788
DOI 10.5840/teachphil19751254
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