The problem of the past and the problem of other minds
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  • 1. The Problem of the Past
  • 2. How can we know that the past exists?
  • 3. Define the problem of the past (1)
  • 4. Define rationalism and explain its relationship to the problem of the past. (2)
  • 5. Define empiricism and explain its relationship to the problem of the past. (3)
  • 6. Define proposition. (4)
  • 7. Explain the next steps of Belief Conservation. (5, 6 & 7)
  • 8. Apply Belief Conservation: State your proposition. (8)
  • 9. Apply the principle of Belief Conservation. (8 -13)
  • 10. Define basic belief. (14)
  • 11. Quick conclusion. (15)
  • 12. The Problem of Other Minds
  • 13. The Problem of Other Minds
    “Those look like my students, but how do I know they have minds,” thought Mrs. Robin.
    Notice Mrs. Robin has a mind.
  • 14. The Problem of Other Minds
    “My innate knowledge doesn’t tell me they have minds. There is no sensory experience that tells me they have minds. And there’s no self-evident proposition according to which they must have minds.
    But I do believe they have minds. I have a number of beliefs I would have to doubt if they had no minds.”
  • 15. The Problem of Other Minds
    “I will apply the Principle of Belief Conservation.
    My Proposition P will be that they have no minds.”
  • 16. The Problem of Other Minds
    “First I will ask myself if I have other beliefs that I would have to doubt if they did not have minds.
    I think I do. What are they?”
  • 17. The Problem of Other Minds
    “If they had no minds, I would doubt that they had feelings.
    If they had no minds, I would doubt they can make choices on their own.
    If they had no minds, they wouldn’t laugh at my jokes.
  • 18. The Problem of Other Minds
    “Now I will ask myself, ‘Do I have any good reason to doubt those things I just listed as beliefs?’ No, I can’t really think of any good reason to doubt that my students laugh at my jokes, have feelings or make choices.”
  • 19. The Problem of Other Minds
    “But do I have some really good reason to think they don’t have minds? “
  • 20. The Problem of Other Minds
    “Has there been a zombie attack in Bangkok lately?
    Were all students born in the mid-90s born without minds?
    Did the science department do a weird mind-deleting experiment?
    I have no good reason to think these things.”
  • 21. The Problem of Other Minds
    “So, it seems most rational to believe that my students do have minds.
    What happens next?”
  • 22. The Problem of Other Minds
    “Hooray! We are so happy! Now we can laugh at Mrs. Robin’s jokes and enjoy Philosophy class!”
  • 23. DO NOW: Practicing your terms
    Try to write in the answers as best you can without consulting your notes.
    In 4 minutes, I will show you word choices.
  • 24. DO NOW: Practicing your terms