We all believe that the people with whom we share our lives think and feel much in the same way that we do, that others have a mind just as we do – and yet it is not at all clear what entitles us to believe this. The question becomes even more pressing when we consider something St Augustine once wrote: “We know what a mind is, by reflecting upon our own.”
If this is true then we can ask, How is it that I know that others have a mind, that others think and feel much as I do? One answer to this question that proved popular for several centuries is that one knows the mind of another by analogy with their own. In recent times, philosophers have tended to give a different answer to this question: that another has a mind is the best explanation of his/her behaviour. Even more recently, it has been suggested that we know that another person has a mind because we simply perceive the other’s thoughts and feelings. In this talk, Dr Anita Avramides will explore these responses and the question that gives rise to them.
About the speaker:
Dr Anita Avramides is Southover Manor Trust Fellow in Philosophy at St Hilda's College and Reader in the Philosophy of Mind at Oxford University. She is the author of Meaning and Mind: An Examination of a Gricean Account of Meaning (M.I.T Press), Other Minds (Routledge, Problems of Philosophy Series) and Women of Ideas (Duckworth). From 2010 to 2013, she served as vice-principal of St Hilda's College, and is currently vice-chair of the Philosophy Faculty Board at Oxford University.
Free public lecture, everyone welcome.
For further details contact: Dr Meena Dhanda, tel: 01902 323 503 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org