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The SelfNaturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance$
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Jonardon Ganeri

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652365.001.0001

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Other Minds

Other Minds

(p.202) 11 Other Minds
The Self

Jonardon Ganeri

Oxford University Press

Buddhist thinkers after Dignāga and Dharmakīrti will form the argument that reflexivism cannot solve the conceptual problem of other minds, the problem of explaining how it is possible to form a conception of a mental life distinct from one's own or conceive that there can be a plurality of minds. Reflexivism, argues Ratnakīrti out of a suggestion made earlier by Jñānaśrīmitra, entails that there are no phenomenal or intentional boundaries between oneself and others within a stream of experience. The idea that reflexivism entails conceptual solipsism is confirmed by Kashmiri Śaiva philosophers, who appropriate Buddhist Yogācāra reflexivism but transform it into a constitutive theory of self: the self just is that which consists of reflexive self‐representation. Abhinavagupta shows clearly that this view leads to solipsism, an implication he actually seems to welcome. This chapter includes a full translation of Ratnakīrti's closely argued text. These difficulties with reflexivist analyses of subjectivity constitute a partial vindication of the earlier mental files theory.

Keywords:   other minds, Ratnakīrti, immersed self, Yogācāra reflexivism

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