Monday, June 13, 2005

Ismael and Pollock on Nolipsism

This is a very intersting essay by Ismael and Pollock that maintains that physicalism can be rescued from serious problems posed by the indexical issue by denying that indexicals refer to anything. But I wonder if that doesn't open them up to a self-refutation argument. If there is no single person thinking the thoughts that make up the arguments in this essay, doesn't it follow that we can't really consider them to be rational inferences at all?

2 comments:

Edward T. Babinski said...

Vic, you asked, "If there is no single person thinking the thoughts that make up the arguments in this essay, doesn't it follow that we can't really consider them to be rational inferences at all?"

Why not ask exactly what is a "person?" We both can agree that personhood is not a static property but is seen to develop over time and also decay in many ways with age. Is a zygote a "person?" What about a baby who is never spoken to, and whose contact with human beings is severely limited? Does that baby ever even learn to speak? No, it does not. There's an entire issue of the latest Monist, a philosophy journal, devoted to the question of what is personhood.

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