Gedankenerfahrung

Imagine that on this earth you are the only human beings who is conscious, and all the other human beings you encounter are actually Androids looking and behaving exactly like human beings but are NOT actually conscious. How would that change your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour? Think. Weird?

Well, actually, it may not be as far-fetched as it might sound. Because, this very problem has been discussed in Western philosophy under the concept of “The problem of other minds”, and in Indian philosophy under the concept of “Eka jiva vada”.

The idea behind it is very simple. What do you encounter when you encounter another human being? Only his/her body and its behaviour and the words spoken. You never ever encounter what goes by the name of “Consciousness”. So, when you have never encountered “another” consciousness in the world apart from yours what makes you conclude that other human beings have consciousness apart from some misplaced and unprovable faith in so-called reasonable inference to conclude its existence.

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