Is there a way to prove that other minds exist?


#1

Is there a way to prove that others have their own minds and intellects and are not simply unconscious beings that ‘appear’ to be conscious?


#2

Yes! Get married.


#3

Simple, read CAF.


#4

The fact that others do not ask the OP’s question tends to demonstrate that other minds do indeed exist.


#5

Ask me…


#6

Matt Fradd notes that he struggled with this very thought around 16YO when he was growing up. He said studying Rene Descartes, the French philosopher who also debated if he was dreaming and if he could tell what was real and who has a mind. I studied Descartes’ writings in a college philosophy class last year, it was very interesting. You could also shoot Fradd an email and I’m sure in one of his podcasts or videos he talks about it, saw one today he briefly mentioned it in passing


#7

Yes.

Through sensory deprivation. Or sleep deprivation.

Both those things can affect the mind extremely badly, if mind was outside of body and independent that wouldn’t happen.

However, if you believe that mind cannot function without brain, ie a brain malfunctioning as a receiver of external mind then we can prove very little.

You might wonder though why God would create humans and be concerned with our salvation if mind was independent, external and an illusion.
To use this as an argument you would necessarily eventually need to prove the existence of God, which is not possible unless you believe in the veracity of St Aquinas’ first cause argument.


#9

I should be more clear. I’m not talking about solipsism (my mind is all that exists).

I’m talking about a true external reality created by God, but out of all the 7 billion humans on earth, only one of them has a mind.


#10

There are at least two minds. One is you. You are aware that you are in charge of certain changes. You are however aware that you are not in charge of all changes. Therefore there is at least one more mind.


#11

Changes don’t require mind. Changes don’t require an observer or awareness of changes.

So who is the one single mind that God created exactly? @CatholicHere_Hi
Remembering that you said God created, not God Himself.

Getting back to my previous point, why would God be concerned with the salvation of all of us, which is a thread throughout the bible, if He actually only had to convince one single mind of its veracity?


#12

God and me (not literally me, the proposer of the argument) are the only 2 minds proven so far.


#13

You’re ignoring my reasoning it seems.
Why would the Bible and Jesus speak of many and their salvation if only two minds ever had to be converted?
Clearly wrong. Where did you get this weird idea from? An ostrich?


#14

Marvelous, STT!
A delightful answer based on “intelligent being/becoming of reality”.
I agree with STT:


#15

Changes don’t require mind, I don’t see how stts answer is satisfactory at all?


#16

[quote=“Lee1, post:13, topic:528281”]
ou’re ignoring my reasoning it seems.
Why would the Bible and Jesus speak of many and their salvation.

Because Jesus and the writers of scripture could have been the other people who didn’t have a mind


#17

Intelligible creation requires an intelligent principle, moving becoming toward a final cause - intelligible change requires mind to aim the arrow toward the target (final cause in the will of the “mind that aims”).
The “cause of the change is (at least on other) individual mind”.


#18

Ok, let’s pretend.

Would one mind disagree with itself? If there was simply God and one mind there would be no disagreement between people. Diversity of opinion would cease to exist.

Unless you’d like to pretend that there is a universal mind capable of magnificent schism.


#19

Change needs mind. I have an argument for that. Consider a change in a system, X to Y. X and Y cannot coexist therefore X must vanishes before Y emerges. We however have nothing once X vanishes and Y cannot emerge from nothing. Therefore there must be a mind how is aware of X and cause Y.


#20

Only if youre a thomist.

How about processes which are autonomous? Or spontaneous.

That’s a very narrow view of existence. God created everything, mind. The more other mind which what, changes everything all over the planet and in space. Nonsense imo.


#21

Only you say that x and y can’t coexist. If that’s not true your argument collapses, silently, without witness.

Are you telling me that a tree somewhere in the middle of a forest in Canada will need mind in order to come out of hibernation? I don’t buy that at all.


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