In this programme Professor Vesey criticizes Professor Ayer's solution to the 'other minds' problem and Ayer reciprocates with an attack on Vesey's treatment. The division between the two speakers a deep one. They hold opposed views not only on the nature of the 'other minds' problem but also about the task of the philosopher in general. Ayer holds it to be to justify common sense beliefs, in view of arguments advanced by sceptics, whereas Vesey wants to show the sceptical arguments to be grounded on mistaken notions about meaning. The result is a keenly argued debate.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A303, Problems of philosophy
Item code: A303; 02
First transmission date: 21-02-1973
Published: 1973
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:28
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Producer: Mary Hoskins
Contributors: Alfred Ayer; Godfrey Norman Agmondisham Vesey
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Cartesians; Scepticism; Wittgenstein
Subject terms: Ayer, Alfred Jules, 1910-1989
Footage description: Vesey and Ayer define the problem of other minds. The discussion of the other minds problem is begun by Ayer and Vesey; historically Wittgenstein and the Cartesians are considered. They define their points of difference. Ayer presses Vesey to define his position and to make more clear his objections to Ayer's viewpoint. Vesey seems to imply a mind theory for the resolution of the other minds problem and Ayer challenges Vesey to present it. Parallels are taken from scepticism to throw light upon the problem. Vesey's third solution seems to be the denial of the existence of the problem; Ayer defends its philosophical validity Vesey defends his position. Ayer presses Vesey for more precision, in his position of denial of the existence of the problem. The existence of objects when not perceived is touched upon.
Master spool number: 6HT/70790
Production number: 00525_3019
Videofinder number: 601
Available to public: yes