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That way madness lies! Print E-mail
By William Barrett   
Thursday, 10 January 2013

Is the consciousness of another person something that we should reasonably expect to see? And should we therefore find it questionable and doubtful if we cannot isolate it in any single sense datum? We are plentifully aware of the minds of other people, but in another and more engulfing way: we share them. They are part of the vital flow of life that surrounds and sustains us, in the coming and going of family, friends, and those close to us.We are surrounded by a life larger than ourselves, of which we are an intimate part. Suppose, out of a moment of theoretical austerity, seeking to commit ourselves only to the minimal theory, we strive to consider those close to us 
as if they had no minds and were not conscious, but were only a behaving body. We would very shortly be schizoid, deranged, or, to make the illustration as plain and grotesques as possible, you are approaching a moment of tenderness and passion with the woman you love, but for a moment you stop to reflect that theoretically you can treat her words and caresses as if there were no consciousness or mind behind them. That way madness lies!
 

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