IX—The Conceptual Problem of Other Bodies


  • Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 22 February 2010 at 4:15 pm.


The, so called, ‘conceptual problem of other minds’ has been articulated in a number of different ways. I discuss two, drawing out some constraints on an adequate account of the grasp of concepts of mental states. Distinguishing between behaviour-based and identity-based approaches to the problem, I argue that the former, exemplified by Brewer and Pickard, are incomplete as they presuppose, but do not provide an answer to, what I shall call the conceptual problem of other bodies. I end with some remarks on identity-based approaches, pointing out related problems for versions of this approach held by Cassam and Peacocke.