Report The wording of the consciousness axiom? in Metaphysics and Epistemology Posted January 13, 2005 Permit me to point out that this is now a somewhat different argument from where you started. You previously stated, "Actually, the inference that other humans are "conscious" is a _sub_-conscious, pre-conceptual, _implicit_ knowledge which infants grasp from observing the behavior of parents (or their equivalent). The axioms are _implicit_ knowledge from infancy." And I pointed out that while one's own consciousness is axiomatic, the issue is whether or not a chain of reasoning and experience is required to attribute a similarity in consciousness to another. If so this would mean it is not an axiom that was implicit knowledge in this case, but an inference -- a somewhat sophisticated one -- based upon experience and a chain of reasoning No, my starting point, as you quote, is that an infant has some implicit knowledge (AR recognized this) which is _prior to_ any subsequent cognitive, i.e., epistemological, development. This _requires_ some cognitive processing, which given the infant's rudimentary level, means an implicit knowledge. The axioms of Objectivism _must_ be present at the primary, initial level of cognition because they identify reality and make possible any continued growth of cognitive abilities. You can't grow epistemologically from infancy if you haven't grasped and retained (as implicit principle or knowledge) the axioms -- one of which involves consciousness, both in oneself and in others by _subconscious inference_ (as opposed to explicit, conscious inference). My point, which you remain unconvinced of (and I'm willing to accept that, and still regard you as rational, objective and a friend) is that an infant _by explict evidence in it's behavior_ is aware of the fact that another's -- his parent's -- consciousness exists -- and has certain actionable, i.e., manipulable, aspects. Obviously, he cannot yet conceptualize the facts involved; but that doesn't preclude his ability to implicitly grasp the fact that "she, and/or he, is aware of me, of what I am doing, of what I want..etc," based on his own prior recognition of "I am conscious; that (the rest of inaminate reality around me) is not."