• dukkha
    206
    Other human bodies are objects in the world around me. It makes no sense to locate another consciousness within the objects in the world around me (as in, "the people around me have conscious experiences). Because the world around me is constituted by my own perceptions/conscious experience. So I'd be locating a whole another conscious experience within my conscious experience. So for example, this would be like seeing someone in front of me and imagining a visual perception of a world being located in some way within that person (eg, within their head), or even in front of that person. Either way you're locating a visual field within a visual field. This makes no sense because my visual field would then be located within their visual field, which contradicts with my location of theirs within my own.

    And so the people around me don't have conscious experiences?
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    Because the world around me is constituted by my own perceptions/conscious experience.dukkha

    In my view this is conflating your perceptions/experience with what you're perceiving/experiencing. In my opinion, the concept of perception doesn't even make any sense if we say that what we're perceiving is our perception itself.
  • Babbeus
    51
    Maybe there is a world around you and there is also your perception of the world that is different from the world itself. Isn't it a reasonable view?
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    Maybe there is a world around you and there is also your perception of the world that is different from the world itself. Isn't it a reasonable view?Babbeus

    Perception is going to be different than the world around you in that the world around you isn't perception, for example, but that doesn't imply that perception isn't accurate.
  • dukkha
    206
    Maybe there is a world around you and there is also your perception of the world that is different from the world itself. Isn't it a reasonable view?Babbeus


    But this representative/indirect realism doesn't solve the problem. Because if the people around you are internal representations of people, then they aren't conscious. You might say that's fine, that other consciousness exist in an external world beyond your perception. But this position requires some strange relationship between the bodies around you and conscious experiences which exist in the external world. Strange relationship as in, eg, another person wills his arm to move in his own represented world, and somehow this causes the persons arm you see in front of you move in a correlated way. Likewise there's this sort of strange correlation between all his other behaviors he does in his represented world and the person you see in front of you. I don't know how this relationship would work?
  • dukkha
    206
    Perception is going to be different than the world around you in that the world around you isn't perceptionTerrapin Station

    So the colors in the world around you continue to still look the same even when nobody is looking at them? As in, we look *through* our eyes like they're windows onto he world?
  • Babbeus
    51
    You might say that's fine, that other consciousness exist in an external world beyond your perception. But this position requires some strange relationship between the bodies around you and conscious experiences which exist in the external world. Strange relationship as in, eg, another person wills his arm to move in his own represented world, and somehow this causes the persons arm you see in front of you move in a correlated way. Likewise there's this sort of strange correlation between all his other behaviors he does in his represented world and the person you see in front of you. I don't know how this relationship would work?dukkha

    Since both perceptions (yours and that of the other person) are corretaled to the same physical world they should be also correlated with each other.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    So the colors in the world around you continue to still look the same even when nobody is looking at them?dukkha

    Ignoring nominalism for a moment, they are the same from a particular reference point in the relevant properties (that is, the particular range of electromagnetic radiation for example), where everything else is the same, too (the same atmospheric conditions, etc.), AND it's important to realize that everything is from a particular reference point.

    And yes, your senses are "windows onto the world" so to speak.
  • Brainglitch
    205
    If logically coherent hypotheses for both is presented, how, in principle, can dispute about whether experience is caused by interaction with an alleged external reality, or is entirely subjective possibly be resolved?
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    If logically coherent hypotheses for both is presented, how, in principle, can dispute about whether experience is caused by interaction with an alleged external reality, or is entirely subjective possibly be resolved?Brainglitch

    I would think the first step would be to survey the reasons we have for believing one thing or another. Logical coherency certainly isn't all there is to reasons for believing things.
  • Real Gone Cat
    86


    Isn't this exactly why solipsism is notoriously impossible to refute?

    It is correct to say that no other conscious experience can exist. An interesting aside : You are, in fact, omniscient - all there is to know, you know. Existence and experience and knowledge are one and the same. What can there be that you do not know? If you do not know a thing, it is because it has not been experienced, and therefore does not exist. Crazy!
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    Isn't this exactly why solipsism is notoriously impossible to refute?Real Gone Cat

    The negation of solipsism is just as impossible to refute. Hence why logical possibility isn't sufficient for belief. You need to have reasons other than logical possibility for buying whatever it is that you buy. For most logical possibilities, the negation is equally possible.
  • Brainglitch
    205
    I would think the first step would be to survey the reasons we have for believing one thing or another. Logical coherency certainly isn't all there is to reasons for believing things.Terrapin Station
    What would these reasons possibly be, other than speculative hypotheses unencumbered by empirical evidence?
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    What would these reasons possibly be, other than speculative hypotheses unencumbered by empirical evidence?Brainglitch

    One example for me is that things I take to be externals seem like externals qualitatively. They do not seem to be qualitatively like the things that I take to be mental phenomena-only.

    That's not the only reason, but it's one of them.

    Another reason is that the idea that I'm something like a creature with a mind that is in a possible relationship with observational things doesn't even make any sense if I don't assume that something like that picture is true.
  • Real Gone Cat
    86
    The negation of solipsism is just as impossible to refute.
    - Terrapin Station

    True, but the negation of solipsism was not in question. The existence of other minds was in doubt - which is tantamount to solipsism - and by pointing out that solipsism cannot be refuted, I was lending support to the OP. If the existence of other minds could be established, then solipsism would be refuted.

    What of my other point? I stand by the claim that I am omniscient. What I experience, I know. What I do not experience, I do not know. And what is not experienced does not exist, does it? Thus I know all that there is to know. This (seemingly odd) claim touches on the question at hand because the existence of other minds is ultimately unknowable. And if knowledge, experience, and existence are equivalent, then other minds cannot be said to exist. Unless one admits of the existence of that which is unknown (i.e., unexperienced), then other minds are speculative only.
  • Terrapin Station
    3.7k
    True, but the negation of solipsism was not in question. The existence of other minds was in doubt - which is tantamount to solipsism - and by pointing out that solipsism cannot be refuted, I was lending support to the OP. If the existence of other minds could be established, then solipsism would be refuted.Real Gone Cat

    Okay, but if the idea that there's just one mind is in doubt, would you point out that the existence of other minds can not be refuted, lending support to that? If that there's only one mind could be established, then the existence of other minds would be refuted.

    And what is not experienced does not exist, does it?Real Gone Cat

    Why would you believe that?
  • Real Gone Cat
    86


    And what is not experienced does not exist, does it?Real Gone Cat

    Why would you believe that?Terrapin Station

    Um, you mean when I turn my back on the moon, it still hangs in the sky? That's the gonest, Dad!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.1k
    Because the world around me is constituted by my own perceptions/conscious experience. So I'd be locating a whole another conscious experience within my conscious experience.dukkha

    So long as you allow that there is a real separation between you and others, there is no such problem. The world around you is not constituted by your own perceptions. Your perceptions are within you, and as long as you allow that there is something real outside you, then this reality acts to separate what's within you from what's within others. It is only if you insist that there is absolutely nothing outside of your own conscious experience, that you would have the problem which you describe. But why would you think that your conscious experience comprises all that is?
  • Real Gone Cat
    86
    ... as long as you allow that there is something real outside you, then this reality acts to separate what's within you from what's within others. It is only if you insist that there is absolutely nothing outside of your own conscious experience, that you would have the problem which you describe. But why would you think that your conscious experience comprises all that is?Metaphysician Undercover

    Ah, but then you are a physicalist. I suspect dukkha is not. And therein lies the rub.

    Since other consciousnesses cannot be experienced, it is logical to doubt their existence. Sure, I experience qualia suggestive of other minds - text on a screen, voices, the movement of other bodies, etc. - but these may be nothing more than illusions produced by Descartes' demon. Or the actions of a clever computer program. The existence of other minds can never be more than speculative.
  • dukkha
    206
    So long as you allow that there is a real separation between you and others, there is no such problem. The world around you is not constituted by your own perceptions. Your perceptions are within you, and as long as you allow that there is something real outside you, then this reality acts to separate what's within you from what's within others.Metaphysician Undercover

    Okay but what we humans want to say and believe, is that the people we interact with in the world we perceive have conscious experiences. It is the actual people around us that are conscious, and not say, that the people around us are internal representations of conscious people in the world beyond my conscious experience. It is the people that I see which are conscious, but it's hard to reconcile this because the people that I see and interact with are *within* my conscious experience (the people I see
    are within my conscious experience of a visual field).

    It is only if you insist that there is absolutely nothing outside of your own conscious experience, that you would have the problem which you describe. But why would you think that your conscious experience comprises all that is?Metaphysician Undercover

    I am not a solipsist. I believe that the people I perceive and interact with are conscious. The people I see are not internal representations of conscious people in an external world beyond my experience. When someone moves their hand, it is the very same hand that is being moved which I perceive.

    The trouble is that if other people's bodies are objects which I perceive, then it doesn't make sense to locate the other persons conscious experience within that object. But we always do this. As an example, when someone breaks their arm, we think their experience of pain is located in the broken arm we perceive. As if, by pointing at their broken arm I am directly pointing to the location of the other persons conscious experience of pain. This doesn't make sense because for them, my conscious experience of sight (seeing their broken arm) is for them located in (or in front of) my head which they perceive. But when I see someone point at me, they aren't pointing at my visual field, because their body is-itself *within* my visual field.

    I believe this problem arises *because* I am conceiving of other people's bodies as if they are much like the other objects I experience in the world around me. As in, other peoples's bodies is the object which the biologist describes - a combination of physiological processes, or a collection of organs, a thing comprised of flesh, blood, and organs. Or even how the physicist describes, an object with mass, dimensions, etc. People's bodies must exist in a fundamentally different way than objects in the world like cars, cups, or roast legs of lamb (which *are* like the biologist describes - an object of flesh, bone, and blood, a mass of cells). It's as if, for the people around me to be conscious, they must be separate from my conscious experience (other people's conscious experience is not located inside my own), and yet other people's bodies are within my conscious experience (I see them, I feel them, etc).

    So if people's bodies are not the objects described by biologists, what are they?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.1k
    Ah, but then you are a physicalist. I suspect dukkha is not. And therein lies the rub.Real Gone Cat

    No. I'm dualist.

    Since other consciousnesses cannot be experienced, it is logical to doubt their existence. Sure, I experience qualia suggestive of other minds - text on a screen, voices, the movement of other bodies, etc. - but these may be nothing more than illusions produced by Descartes' demon. Or the actions of a clever computer program. The existence of other minds can never be more than speculative.Real Gone Cat

    Assuming a demon still assumes something external, and my point is that once you assume something external, you have what is required to separate other minds from your mind.

    Okay but what we humans want to say and believe, is that the people we interact with in the world we perceive have conscious experiences. It is the actual people around us that are conscious, and not say, that the people around us are internal representations of conscious people in the world beyond my conscious experience. It is the people that I see which are conscious, but it's hard to reconcile this because the people that I see and interact with are *within* my conscious experience (the people I see are within my conscious experience of a visual field).dukkha

    It appears like you want to experience another's experience in order to validate that experience. You cannot, and this is due to the separation between you and the others. So all you can do is imagine, or think of what another is experiencing. And all you have is an internal representation of another's experience. All you have to do, is allow that there is more to reality than just your conscious experience, and you have the basis for assuming that others' conscious experiences are just as real as yours. Why would you insist that your conscious experience is the totality of reality? That doesn't make sense to me.

    The trouble is that if other people's bodies are objects which I perceive, then it doesn't make sense to locate the other persons conscious experience within that object.dukkha

    You need not do this though. As I said in my last post, you need only to consider the external world as a separation between you and the consciousness of others. There is no necessity to consider that this separation consists of objects, and that the consciousness is within an object. But if you start to understand yourself as an object with a consciousness within that object, you will relate to others that way. How do you conceive of yourself?

    I believe this problem arises *because* I am conceiving of other people's bodies as if they are much like the other objects I experience in the world around me. As in, other peoples's bodies is the object which the biologist describes - a combination of physiological processes, or a collection of organs, a thing comprised of flesh, blood, and organs. Or even how the physicist describes, an object with mass, dimensions, etc. People's bodies must exist in a fundamentally different way than objects in the world like cars, cups, or roast legs of lamb (which *are* like the biologist describes - an object of flesh, bone, and blood, a mass of cells). It's as if, for the people around me to be conscious, they must be separate from my conscious experience (other people's conscious experience is not located inside my own), and yet other people's bodies are within my conscious experience (I see them, I feel them, etc).

    So if people's bodies are not the objects described by biologists, what are they?
    dukkha

    Try to conceive of another's body in the same way you conceive of your own. If you don't think that the biologist's explanation properly represents what you think is your own self, I suppose you have reasons for that. I agree that a living thing is completely different from an inanimate thing, and biology should not be conflated with physics, as if these two are the same. What do you think is the purpose of your body? I think that understanding the nature of my own body helps me to understand the nature of the separation between my consciousness and the consciousness of others.
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