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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Murtazin Salawat
This article is dedicated to one of current problems in modern philosophy: the problem of other minds. It turns out to be characteristic of the “analytical” and “continental” traditions in philosophy. We believe that this problem has not only an epistemological or ontological aspect, but also an ethical one, and the results of its development should not be ignored when solving the problem of searching for ethical foundations. To confirm this assumption, we have done the following: First, we consider the very essence of the problem of other minds in Alec Hyslop and Simon Glendinning's approaches to its formulation. This problem is based on the asymmetry between the perception of our mental states and the perception of the mental states of others. Second, we have briefly discussed one of the best-known approaches in solving this problem, namely, argument by analogy. According to this theory, we base our judgments on the feelings and experiences of others on the analogy with our own feelings and experiences, and their manifestation in our behavior. We also consider possible critical approaches of this theory. Third, we run into extremely serious difficulty in solving the problem of other minds, namely the “threat of skepticism”. We encounter an extremely serious difficulty in solving the problem of another consciousness, namely, the “threat of skepticism”. It consists in the fact that we do not have a reliable means to justify satisfactorily the existence of something that supports the “external” acts of human behavior, such as feelings of pain. We have considered two approaches that, in fact, do not refute the skepticism arguments, but avoid the very appearance of their threat. These are Simon Glendinning’s concepts of “reframing of skepticism” and “reading-response”, as well as the idea of the need to recognize the reality of the other by the possibility of knowing the reality that surrounds us, presented by Frederick Olafson. These approaches in order to overcome the “threat of skepticism”, suggest a rejection of the traditional purely epistemological approach to solve the problem of other minds, which was characterized by an emphasis on the problematic relationship between our knowledge of the other's mental states and reality of its existence. The fight against the “threat of skepticism”, as well as the contradictions that such skepticism generates, in fact, lead us to the need to study the ethical aspect of being with others, which cannot be considered without epistemological and ontological aspects.
Keywords: other; consciousness; being with others; skepticism; epistemology; analogy; reframing of skepticism; criteria; deconstruction; ethics.
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