Combines literature and philosophy to explore whether and to what extent we can know the thoughts and feelings of others
In Reading the Other, Carol de Dobay Rifelj looks at the philosophical Problem of Other Minds, which is concerned with whether and to what extent we can know the thoughts or sensations of others. She begins by discussing Cartesian skepticism – the idea that one person cannot know the mind of another – and examines how it has been addressed in the twentieth century, from the later Wittgenstein to Stanley Cavell. Finally, she looks at how the Problem of Other Minds is represented in fiction – from the detective stories of Dashiell Hammett and Arthur Conan Doyle to the work of Marcel Proust, Villers de L’Isle Adam, Prosper Merimee, and Anthony Powell. Reading the Other is a fascinating book that provides insight into an intriguing and eduring philosophical questions.