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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter suggests that, when considering the philosophical problem of other minds, we distinguish between "thick" and "thin" versions of it. While traditional approaches take the problem to be a thick one, more recent work can be seen as addressing only a thin variant. Dretske, while acknowledging the thick problem, proposes a perceptual model of our knowledge of other minds which addresses only the thin version. The chapter proposes that, in the place of the thick problem, we consider the quality of our interactions with others. Following Wittgenstein, it suggests that where individuals share a nature their interactions exhibit a quality that it calls "depth." Where that nature is not, or is only partially, shared, there one might expect to find the quality of the interaction between persons disturbed. The chapter suggests that this disturbance might explain the impaired quality of interaction between autistic and non-autistic individuals.

Keywords: Fred Dretske, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jerry Fodor, perception of other minds, internalism/externalism, skepticism, solipsism, Peter Hobson, Stanley Cavell

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