I recently read an article about other minds and there were two good arguments for other minds.

The first is the analogy argument. As I understand it, this argument is already outdated.

The second argument is the best explanation.

It is said that this is the best argument for believing in other minds.

First, I would like to ask if this is really the best argument.

And secondly, I did not really understand this argument. (English is not my native language, but in the article it is somehow confusingly written)


Could you explain to me what is meant by the argument of the best explanation.


3 Answers 3


Could you explain to me what is meant by the argument of the best explanation.

It is also called "inference to the best explanation" and said to be the cornerstone of scientific practice (don't ask me how, I'm not a scientist either). The idea is that we should believe our best explanations are true.

Suppose you have a large piece of cheese, and notice that it has what seems to be nibbled edges. As you wonder about this, you think you see something move, and freak out and put your lunchbox over it. The lunchbox starts to move, or at least tremble, and you here a squeaking noise from inside it. At that point, the lights go out. What is going on?

  1. A rodent infestation?
  2. Aliens?
  3. etc.

Inference to the best explanation says we should believe in whichever we think the best explanation is, which is here, at least arguably, rodents. The best explanation is the "loveliest" one, the most explanatory

[believe] which hypothesis would be most explanatory


And yes, one criteria for that is simplicity.

The claim about other minds is that it is the best explanation of these apparently living bodies walking around, that they are people and have minds.

  • You seem to mean Occam's razor
    – CriglCragl
    Jan 13, 2022 at 13:35
  • often used in finding the best explanation @CriglCragl
    – user57343
    Jan 13, 2022 at 13:36

In answer to the question of reference to the best argument is that taking onto account the argument or debate , if you will, of all the points and reasons ,etc on both sides without taking a side, but absorbing the subject as whole instead of two distinctly separate subjects of theory. Thus the answer is within the combination of the whole argument. What is missing is where the viewpoint is in actuality to the results.As one or the other viewpoints from either side, we can decearn, is not the complete view. Think on this for a moment without bias if possible, of which we are told, nothing is impossible. It is just that the solution has yet to be revealed.

  • Welcome to PSE. I find your answer difficult to follow. Can you clarify, please, or it risks being deleted.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Jan 23, 2022 at 18:29
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 29, 2022 at 22:28

Per your command to address and answer your first question, it must be understood that this is not, a question. This is a request to be indwelled due to the gender and grimoire. The question itself is one of "no wrong choice. To answer this without you understanding the nature of your request, would be in Stoic literature, known as crossing the line. If I devise a strong enough reason that becomes logical to you, and you accept it as true, that course of thought is no longer yours alone, but also myself and those who kept its historical facts. The proper question would be, "what are your opinions on said topic?" which should be asked after one has come to an initial conclusion themselves.

  • 3
    I'm really not following your point - you're waffling around a lot with ideas about the meaning of "state", so perhaps focusing your answer a bit more and structuring it with your central point in mind might help the reader get to grips with what you're trying to say?
    – Paul Ross
    Jan 12, 2022 at 7:18
  • thank you for your wonderful critique, that's exactly what I was doing. If it had to be anything of that nature, I definitely would prefer a pancake! Thanks for helping me gain clarity! Jan 13, 2022 at 10:01
  • Questions inviting opinion-based answers on this SE are not acceptable and will be closed. See the site tour and [What types of questions should I avoid asking?] (philosophy.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask). You say "indwelled due to the gender and grimoire" & that seems to be obscurantist & lacking content. Did you mean 'Turned inwards due to gender & books..?' If that were what you meant how is it relevant?
    – CriglCragl
    Jan 17, 2022 at 16:21

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