Third-person and First-person Perspectives: An Analysis of Thought-experiments
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The clash between science and ordinary life has caused numerous discussions in particular about the mind. Out of these discussions about the mind arises a conceptual confusion. This confusion is caused by making no differentiation between conceptions belonging to the scientific domain, and ordinary day-to-day life. Such confusion is somewhat odd, considering that the clash is between the two distinct conceptions of the world where those specific conceptions belong to. These two conceptual domains have themselves been conceptualized in different forms. I will discuss three of them, namely: Nagels'objective point-of-view and subjective point-of-view, Sellars' scientific image and manifest image, and Dilthey's methodological dichotomy between Verstehen and Erklären. These dichotomies form the basis of my own description between the third-person perspective and the first-person perspective. With this framework I will be able to specify this conceptual confusion, show how such conceptual confusion arises, and finally analyze two thought-experiments (Mary's room and the Chinese room) which are illustrations of concrete examples of this conceptual confusion. By doing so I hope to provide conceptual clarity with respect to the (philosophical) discussion about the mind.