mercredi 18 juin 2008

Other minds

This year's Bac Philosophy paper, pored over by the French media religiously every year had amongst its questions this "Est-ce qu'il est plus facile de connaître autrui que de se connaître soi-même?"

The expected (?) Cartesian response would run along the lines that one can doubt the existence of other minds in a way one cannot possibly doubt the existence of one's own. Thus, 'the' 'answer' would be "No". Nietzsche was right, though, Descartes was superficial. What kind of doubt would it take - a very doubtful doubt, yet a void opens up between l'autre and soi-même.

The unexamined life would answer - one knows them equally well.

What would a communist answer look like? The beginning might be that others know you better than you do yourself and you only know what little you know of yourself due to them.