Many of us have spent a considerable amount of 2020 working and teaching in a much more solitary environment than we’re used to. Rather than conversing with one another in person, we are instead spending hours and hours staring at one another arranged in little boxes on a computer screen, listening to disembodied voices through our hastily acquired headsets, and attempting to form some kind of meaningful human connection. Yet even in these strange and difficult days of the COVID-19 era, when so much of our interaction with other people is virtual, we still take it completely for granted that this virtual interaction puts us in contact with actual other people and, correspondingly, with actual other minds. Moreover, we generally take ourselves to know quite a bit about the other minds with which we’re interacting. We can typically tell when someone with whom we’re interacting is frustrated or furious, when they’re happy or when they’re hurting. As co-editor Matthew Parrott says in his introductory chapter, “We normally take ourselves to know what other people think, feel, or want, and we rely on this knowledge in our actions and interactions.” (p. 1) But even if it seems beyond reasonable doubt that we have knowledge of other minds, philosophers have traditionally taken this knowledge to be puzzling, i.e., puzzling in a way that sets it apart from other kinds of knowledge that we have. In this volume, the editors have assembled ten high quality and thought-provoking contributions that address the family of puzzles that underlie our knowledge of other minds.
Knowing Other Minds
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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