ZEB BLACKWELL : SOLOPSIST INTERVIEW

Q: Why do you not believe that other people’s minds exist?
A: It’s quite simple, really. I can be quite certain of my own existence – it’s the whole “I think, therefore I am” thing. But as for the existence of other minds, well, that’s a much trickier thing to prove. I can see that there are these funny-looking things that walk around and talk to me and generally do things that would indicate that they have minds like me, but I can’t really be sure. There’s nothing to distinguish my econ professor, for instance, from a robot that could pass the Turing test. Just because people act like they have minds doesn’t mean that they aren’t basically just machines responding to stimuli.

Q: But can’t you look in someone’s eyes when they’re hurting and see that they really feel that pain?
A: Furbies could make some pretty convincing displays of pain. People are just really complex Furbies.

zeb blackwell Solipsism solipsist perspective psychology beliefs reality people existence trust humans society social interaction life humor philosophy debate turing test humanity empathy emotions robots