PHIL 1000 Lecture Notes - Materialism, Baruch Spinoza, Monism
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If somebody would watch our physical activities they would be unaware of our thinking and thought
process. They would also be unaware of our anxiety over the essay and the pains of our thinking of the
So what goes on in the mind is radically private. We cannot have access to each others thoughts. All we
have access to is a body that gives out actions. We have no awareness of the thoughts of others. But we
all assume that it's going on.
We weren't asked if we had a mind on the first day of class. It is an assumption on the part of others.
But also according to Mill, it is the analogical arguments for other minds.
1) what is an analogical argument? An argument where you make a comparison between two
things and based on that comparison the basis of two actions. We have item A and item B and
we're going to have C and D further down the road. Let's talk about shoes
A B C D
manufacturer yes yes Yes
SI yes yes yes
White/blue yes yes yes
9D yes yes yes
It fits fits fits fits
1. After seeing the three pairs of shoes (ABC) we're going to infer in an inductive argument
that shoe D will fit based on the qualities that we see. This is an analogical argument, an
inference based on comparison. This could be on anything. The greater the similarity in the
items that we are comparing and the more experience the more constantly conjoined we find
the features and the fit the stronger the argument. Any inductive argument is based on
strength of similarity. BUT WE CAN ALWAYS BE WRONG. One day the shoes can be
delivered and be completely wrong. But the similarity shows us that it is unlikely that the
opposite will occur.
2. Why say all of this? Because the inference that we have minds is an analogical argument. If
i drop a juice can on my toe, I’m going to yell and jump up and down. In addition to that,
I’m going to feel pain, anxiety, foolishness, etc. So that when you drop juice can on
someone else they will feel the same experience. All of this is based on assumption that
humans will have same the physiology and will act similarly.
3. This is all based on similarity because there is no repeated experience. I only know that
from my case that I will assume that the other 7 billion will act similar.
If we take a dualist position and take all of our “you-ness.” In addition to the problem of interaction we
also have no idea how to talk about the mind in others because all we see in others is their behaviour.
So when dualism talks about this mind thing and something we know in our own case look what it is
does. It puts us in the position of extreme assumption.
Solutions? One of them is God as the perceiver of all things.
The other is materialism
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