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Philosophical Papers$
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J. L. Austin, J. O. Urmson, and G. J. Warnock

Print publication date: 1979

Print ISBN-13: 9780192830210

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019283021X.001.0001

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Other Minds 1

Other Minds 1

Chapter:
(p.76) 4 Other Minds1
Source:
Philosophical Papers
Author(s):

J. L. Austin

J. O. Urmson

G. J. Warnock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019283021X.003.0004

Austin takes on the problem of other minds, of how to respond to the question ‘how do you know?’, if this question is raised with regard to the thoughts, feelings, sensations, minds of other creatures. This problem has traditionally been understood as the problem of justifying our belief in the existence of other minds. Austin argues that believing in other persons, in authority and testimony, is an essential part of the act of communicating, and as such is an irreducible part of our experience. While we can state certain advantages of communicative performances, there is no justification for our doing them as such.

Keywords:   Austin, communication, existence, justification, other minds, sensations, thoughts

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