I'm currently reading Brie Gertler's essay In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism. She uses Descartes' conceivability argument to make her own disembodiment argument. For example, she says someone can conceive of pain while disembodied and therefore this shows that pain cannot be equal to the physical state of the brain. However, since all we can experience is our own mind, how can she claim that other people experience the "mind" like we do. Gertler is making universal claims regarding the "mind", but due to the "mind's" inherent subjectivity, isn't it that she can not for sure make claims regarding other "minds" in other bodies? Such as for example if people experience pain differently. Is there any way to defend her argument against such an objection?

  • The argument is phrased in the second person, and one is supposed to supplement it by their own first person experience to get convinced:"As with other thought experiments, this one requires that you actively engage in the exercise of imagining or conceiving... So pinch yourself - lightly! - and, while doing so, put yourself into the position of the "I" in the following line of reasoning". There is no need for her to share the experience. Should others deny that they have it they are free to disregard the argument.
    – Conifold
    Feb 14 '18 at 3:15

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