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Can one know that other conscious beings exist?

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2010 04:30 pm
@prothero,
prothero wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
It is perhaps telling that there is no objective way to directly access, measure or observe consciousness or any other property of mind. It also telling that we try to attribute a property to systems that we can not define (i,e, consciousness).



I don't know what you think it would be like to observe our own subjective feelings and thoughts if you don't think that is just what we do now. Oddly, Descartes thought that our own thoughts a feelings are "better known (to us)" than are the commonsense objects like tables and chairs that we observe.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 10:48 pm
The problem of other minds (subjects) is not a real problem; it is little more than an epistemological connundrum. I say it's not a problem because it is not "problematical" for me. I encounter other people (o.k. let's concede that they are, in the strictly technical sense, only appearances/phenomena) and it seems self-evident, given everything that characterizes our encounter, that they are as I am--probably no more and no less. I do not feel the slightest need to verify their statuses as subjects--in the sense that I experience myself (wrongly, of course) as a "subject" (to all the "objects" of my experience). Dualism is the basis for the connundrum.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 06:27 am
@prothero,
prothero wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
I thought the issue was how we know other people are conscious, and not what consciousness is.
I quite agree with your previous post that we know on the basis of analogy, observation, reason and the nature of our own interior subjective experience.
I do not think anyone seriously doubts this except for outright solopsism or severe skepticism.
The more general question about what are the more fundamental properties of mind and how do we know what complex societies, organisms or structures possess them or not is my interest.
It is perhaps telling that there is no objective way to directly access, measure or observe consciousness or any other property of mind. It also telling that we try to attribute a property to systems that we can not define (i,e, consciousness).



To be conscious is to be aware. Why is that not a definition of consciousness? For instance, if a person in in a coma, and he begins to be aware of his surroundings, then we say of that person that he is conscious.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 06:05 am
@prothero,
prothero wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
I thought the issue was how we know other people are conscious, and not what consciousness is.
I quite agree with your previous post that we know on the basis of analogy, observation, reason and the nature of our own interior subjective experience.
I do not think anyone seriously doubts this except for outright solopsism or severe skepticism.
The more general question about what are the more fundamental properties of mind and how do we know what complex societies, organisms or structures possess them or not is my interest.
It is perhaps telling that there is no objective way to directly access, measure or observe consciousness or any other property of mind. It also telling that we try to attribute a property to systems that we can not define (i,e, consciousness).

Maybe you should spend more time reading very basic neurologic science, it's described there how to messure conciousness with brain scans.

It's VERY basic knowledge.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 09:37 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer wrote:

Maybe you should spend more time reading very basic neurologic science, it's described there how to messure conciousness with brain scans.

It's VERY basic knowledge.


This type of measurement is not at all the same thing as one's own experience of their consciousness.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 09:52 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:

HexHammer wrote:

Maybe you should spend more time reading very basic neurologic science, it's described there how to messure conciousness with brain scans.

It's VERY basic knowledge.


This type of measurement is not at all the same thing as one's own experience of their consciousness.
Recent studies has shown that people in vegetative state are concious, where they just a few years before was described as unconcious, a quite big difference Imo. This may seem selfcontradicting, but what I speak of is the very simple and basic way of telling ..by scanning the people in question ..is a very simple messure and has been avaliable for decades.
0 Replies
 
chicalleje
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 11:18 pm
@ElAleph,
ElAleph wrote:

The second interest in the traditional philosophical problem about other minds lies in the question, whether, given what would seem a natural way we have of thinking of the meaning of mental terms, we can even make sense of the sentences we use to attribute mental states to others. Such a problem arises because there is a natural tendency to assume that our mental terms (i.e 'pain', 'belief', etc.) get their meaning from our relating them to our own experiences. Thus, if we only understand what it is to have a pain or a belief from our own case, a question arises as to whether such a perspective on them will even allow our talk of others having pains or beliefs to make sense. This is known as the conceptual problem of other minds.


I would discart the question from a language point of view. There is no private world where we feel pain or fear, that's not a private experiencie, we are speaking of a type of behavior when we speak of experiences of pain, seeing colour, thing like that. What we call consciousness is a social construct, all beings like us are conscious beings just like us or not even we are conscious in that sense.

It's a Wittgensteinian aproach that I think to be correct, we can't not speak of private experiences, so consciousness must be social, not private.
I define consciousness as "explaining some behaviour using conceptual language".


@HexHammer:
I thing Pangloss is talking about our subjective experience of being conscious (if there is such a thing). I already discart private experience.

Sorry for my english.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Oct, 2010 08:06 pm
@ElAleph,
Knowing anothers excat lvl of pain and suffering is usually irrelevant, when the support and care is more relevant.

When someone question if another conciousness exist, it's usually asked out of lack of rationallity.
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Oct, 2010 09:44 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer wrote:

Knowing anothers excat lvl of pain and suffering is usually irrelevant, when the support and care is more relevant.


Quote:
When someone questions if another conciousness exist, it's usually asked out of lack of rationallity.


agreed

north
0 Replies
 
Tigger31337
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 11:00 pm
@ElAleph,
> What would you define as a 'conscious being'

A being capable of sentience or awareness.

> and is it possible to know that other conscious beings exist?

Technically, no. However we have pretty good grounds to tell when an organism is conscious.

> Or are we to be forever plagued by an inextricable and degenerative solipsism?

Depends on the type of solipsism you are referring to.
0 Replies
 
NAACP
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 05:32 pm
We are all Be-ings experiencing eachother subjectivley, there is one motion......one truth.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2010 10:28 pm
I think the question here is in the term "know." Like most of us in our non-technical moments, I rest with the assumption that other conscious beings exist. As I said earlier, to know, in the sense of possessing certitude, is not an existential issue; FEELING that you know is.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2010 12:09 am
Can one know that other conscious beings exist?

observe actions of another being(s) in silence , just observe Human behaviour
0 Replies
 
 

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