My daughter, Annabel, is a born philosopher. At seven-years-old, her views and observations of the world would make Aristotle and Plato do a double-take, and she frequently asks questions that I just don't know how to answer (thank goodness for the internet!). My family has lovingly dubbed these quirky thoughts and sayings as "Annabelisms" and there's nothing better for a good laugh. As a service to the world and its future generations, I have decided to write them down--I only wish I had started when she first started talking!
Last week she came to me with a worried look on her face. She took a deep, introspective breath and tried to find the right words to begin. Oh, boy. I could tell it was going to be a whopper. I braced myself.
"Mom," she said in her very serious voice--the one that sounded way too much like one of my college professor's, "I've been thinking."
Here it comes, I thought.
"How do we know people are really people?"
Now, that's a good question. I remember going over that in my philosophy class. The whole "I think therefore I am" thing. How did Dr. Brown explain it? We can only really know about our own existence...yadda yadda...Hmm...maybe I was better prepared than I thought.
"Well, I guess we don't really know that for sure, but you know you're a person, right? So, it's a pretty safe bet that everyone else is one, too." I said. For a moment, I thought I had explained it pretty well. Then I looked down at her confused expression and realized I had no idea what I was talking about after all.
"Of course I know I'm a person," she said, "but that doesn't mean I'm sure about everyone else."
"Of course they're people. What else would they be?" I asked before I could stop myself.
"Robots," she said seriously.
And there you have it. Descartes meets science fiction.