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Are some people 'inside the bubble' ie. non thinking and sheep like and other people 'outside the bubble' with self awareness and well developed consciousness? If so is there a way of defining the difference or does everyone think that everyone else is the sheep and not them?

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  • I'm not sure what you mean by "bubble"; I am pretty sure that you or anyone else who thinks they've got "well-developed" consciousness would be rather surprised by how sheep-like they are in many aspects; these days this is a cognitive science question, not a philosophy question; and you don't seem to have put much effort into searching for an answer.
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 21:35
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    I would really like an answer involving Socrates and his view of philosophy and other people. It would answer the question in a nice way and we wouldnt have to close it.
    – Lukas
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 0:25
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    I'm an enlightened being. Everyone else isn't. How can you prove otherwise?
    – user4894
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 0:37
  • You may find Positive Disintegration of interest.
    – labreuer
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:14

2 Answers 2

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I will argue “no.” Solipsism, the idea that only we are consciously aware, and other people aren't, is an internally-coherent position, but it is difficult to reconcile with many things we observe like language-using communication among other people that responds to the world. Arguments against solipsism are, by definition, arguments for the existence of other minds. There are a lot of approaches to arguing for other minds, many of the most convincing of which start by observing the phenomenon of language and how it is employed. It's hard to make solipsism cohere well with the behavior of other people. It's a very interesting problem, and it might not be obvious how to defended it, but there are many kinds of arguments. Arguments for the existence of other minds are reviewed here in the SEP.

That is to say, philosophers generally treat the existence of other minds as a well-defended position, while solipsism is internally-coherent but hard to reconcile with our other observations and defensible beliefs. But you've asked about a position between the two, whether some people are consciously-aware while others aren't.

The reason I say “no” about that position is that arguments against other minds generally apply to approximately all people, so that if you admit one other mind, the argument takes you to the approximately-complete possession of minds by at least human beings. (Some of the arguments defend that certain non-human animals also have minds, but not all.)

However, it may be that you intended to ask about a slightly different position — not about whether everyone has a mind, but whether they use it well to engage with the world, and think for themselves. I suspect every human being is heavily influenced by other human beings, and that our use of a common language, and the process we go through in learning language and human customs means that nobody thinks entirely for him or herself in a completely novel way. I don't think that's a bad thing, as it's consistent with people thinking very much for themselves. Still, psychologists offer analyses of our cognitive biases to resist information and arguments which conflict with what we think. You might want to look into the psychological literature for discussions of cognitive biases and resistance to new ideas. You might also want to look into the investigations of why some people are creative and original in their thinking.

Your question about whether some people in the bubble, read this way, comes to be an instance of the question of free will, which spans psychology and philosophy — whether human beings are capable of thinking and acting freely. I would suggest that most arguments for free will also apply to most people, not just a very few. If human beings have free will, human beings are capable of exercising it.

But do some people have it but choose not to? Do many? Perhaps, but here again, psychology would be the place to look for analysis, because it's an empirical question.

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  • I would like this comment deleted.
    – obelia
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 5:23
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They are not the sheep they are somewhat high and sleeping. BUT. In this sleep they can awake you and others. What you should understand is that they are HERE for YOU! And only you. We all are here for each other.

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