Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Inference of Analogy

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_200811

The inference of analogy is the traditional manner of conceiving of the method according to which we gain knowledge of other minds. It has been explicitly suggested first by John Stuart Mill (1806–1876). It is based on the assumption that we do not have direct perceptual access to the mental states of other persons. We directly perceive only their bodily movements. Because we assume that similar effects have similar inner causes, we analogically infer another person’s mental states based on our knowledge of how we feel and think when we behave in that manner.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCollege of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA