Saturday, November 12, 2011

Twins and pain redux

Awhile ago I had a post about Wittgenstein's conjoined twin and pain argument. I argued against W that if materialism is true then he is wrong. Looks like the empirical evidence says that philosophers share that intuition but the folk do not. It's no surprise that W would favor the folk over the philosophers.


  1. Things like this remind me of why I find XPhi so completely beside the point. Why does it matter where ordinary people think their pains are? How does learning about that study tell me something I didn't know about the issue of pain? Why are the unreflective judgments of non-experts in a field with no practical impact on their lives valuable as a source of data except in the most general way? As it so happens, in this case, I tend to agree with ordinary people that the pain is in your foot not in your mind, but this has nothing to do with it being a popular answer.

  2. I always get the feeling that the folk would often change their views by providing them with just a few counterexamples or some more time with some relevant philosophical reflections.

  3. I take the point of a lot Socratic dialogues to be that normal people have basically decent intuitions about right and wrong minus a few glaring contradictions but no interest in codifying those intuitions into a coherent system.