P.F. Strawson and J.L. Austin approach the problem of other minds from different perspectives. Peter Strawson looks at this problem from the perspective of descriptive metaphysics, which largely disregards the concrete situations in which we use mental language. John Austin, on the other hand, believes that to understand what is happening in such situations holds the key to solving the former problem. However, as it turns out, the considerations of both authors in the key fragments rely on similar observations. In addition, Austin’s perspective, which looks at the language from the point of view of its usage, makes it possible to formulate an answer to the Strawson’s critics. This does not exclude the possibility of agreeing with Strawson on the primacy of the reference function of language, if we understand it properly. Ultimately, Strawson and Austin’s approaches do not compete, but complement each other.
Most philosophers believe that a unified philosophical account of mental and non -mental actions is possible. This article presents two arguments indicating that in fact it is not possible. The first one says that thinking is not an activity. Its formulation, however, is exposed to significant difficulties. The second argument avoids these difficulties and puts forward a different, though sometimes erroneously identified, thesis that mental and non-mental actions differ significantly, and therefore one theory should not be expected to include both phenomena. Acceptance of this result sheds new light on the problems associated with the language of thought and gives promise to a new answer to the question “What is Le Penseur doing?”