Date Thesis Awarded

5-2011

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Paul Davies

Committee Member

Alan Goldman

Committee Member

Matthew C. Haug

Committee Member

Chris Ball

Abstract

The epistemological problem of other minds, "the hallowed philosophical quandary of justifying belief in the existence of other minds like one's own," is a problem about how humans come to know minds. Historically, most philosophers have broached the problem of other minds entirely from their armchairs, without incorporating knowledge from relevant scientific theories. This thesis lays out what the science shows about how humans understand their own minds and other minds, and discusses what the evidence does to vindicate or deny leading philosophical accounts of attributions of mindedness. This evidence, drawn from work in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy, strongly suggests that the problem of other minds is misguided and confused from the get-go and that there is no greater problem with belief in other minds than belief in one's own.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Comments

Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

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