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SPA Student Speaker Series: Avery Amerson
February 19, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Avery Amerson (Cal State Long Beach)
‘Wittgenstein, extended cognition, and the problem of other minds’
02 Feb 2019 • 11:00am–12:00pm • PH1–110
Abstract: Wittgenstein’s highly influential works have been critiqued and expanded upon by countless philosophers. Although he was never cited as an influence in the seminal paper on the theory of extended cognition by Clark & Chalmers (1998), I argue that this theory, alongside Wittgenstein’s view of public language, can be used to address Wittgenstein’s problem of other minds. This problem is defined by the inability to verify that others have mental states just as we do. If we all share in others’ experiences through the connection of public language, then we can know that others experience mental states just as we do, because we are all taking part in the same shared cognitive process. Wittgenstein’s views on the meaning of language and the rejection of private language, taken together with the theory of extended cognition, provide a compelling solution to the problem of other minds.