Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 P - Personalism


Personalism: The assumption that there are other persons like oneself.

This is an assumption, and indeed a metaphysical one (See: minimal metaphysics) although it also is an assumption nearly all human beings make, and acquire while growing up.

Even so, the experience of other human beings - supposing there is no ESP - is forever hidden to any human being, and exists imaginatively, by assumption, and by education, and is not given as one's own experience is to oneself: The actual feelings, beliefs and desires of others are as private to them as one's own feelings, beliefs and desires are private to oneself, and apart from analogy and, possibly, instinct, the main reason one attributes feelings, beliefs and desires to others seems to be years of education by others who made that assumption and treated and educated one on the basis of it.

Also, a large part of what one believes and feels oneself to be, and of what one does or may attribute to others, is based on language, that enables one to have and mentally use all manner of ideas and distinctions one either could or would not have without language, or that are far less easy to have or think about without language.


See also: Other minds, Person, Qualia, Self



 Original: Jul 1, 2005                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top