David Hume and the Problem of Other Minds

Continuum (2009)
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Abstract

The problem of other minds has widely been considered as a special problem within the debate about scepticism. If one cannot be sure that there is a world existing independently of one's mind, how can we be sure that there are minds - minds which we cannot even experience the way we experience material objects? This book shows, through a detailed examination of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, that these concerns are unfounded. By focusing on Hume's discussion of sympathy - the ability to connect with the mental contents of other persons - Anik Waldow demonstrates that belief in other minds can be justified by the same means as belief in material objects. The book thus not only provides the first large-scale treatment of the function of the belief in other minds within the Treatise, thereby adding a new dimension to Hume's realism, but also serves as an invaluable guide to the complexity of the problem of other minds and its various responses in contemporary debate.

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Anik Waldow
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

Other minds.Alec Hyslop - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hume and Peirce on the Ultimate Stability of Belief.Ryan Pollock & David W. Agler - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):245-269.
Reply to My Critics.Anik Waldow - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (2):253-265.
Triggers of Thought: Impressions within Hume’s Theory of Mind.Anik Waldow - 2010 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 13 (1):105-121.

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