David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Alois Pichler & Simo Saatela (eds.), Wittgenstein: The Philosopher and His Works. The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen (2005)
1. First person authority: the received explanation Over a wide range of psychological attributes, a mature speaker seems to enjoy a defeasible form of authority on how things are with him. The received explanation of this is epistemic, and rests upon a cognitive assumption. The speaker’s word is a authoritative because when things are thus-and-so with him, then normally he knows that they are. This is held to be because the speaker has direct and privileged access to the contents of his consciousness by means of introspection, conceived as a faculty of inner sense. Like perceptual knowledge, introspective knowledge is held to be direct and non-evidential. Accordingly, the first-person utterances ‘I have a pain’, ‘I believe that p’, ‘I intend to V’ are taken to be descriptions of what is evident to inner sense. Many classical thinkers held such subjective knowledge to be not only immediate, but also infallible and indubitable. The challenge to the received conceptions came from Wittgenstein. He denied the cognitive assumption, arguing that it cannot be said of me at all (except perhaps as a joke) that I know that I am in pain. For what is that supposed to mean — except perhaps that I am in pain?1 If it makes no sense to say that one knows that one is in pain, then the epistemic explanation is a non-starter, since it explains the special authoritative status of a person’s avowal of pain by reference to the putative fact that the subject of pain knows, normally knows, or cannot but know, that he is in pain when he is. It is important to note that Wittgenstein did not mechanically generalize the case of pain across the whole domain of firstperson utterances. The case of pain constitutes only one pole of a range of such utterances. Avowals and averrals of belief and intention approximate the other pole, and require independent analysis and grammatical description.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nikola Grahek (1991). Objective and Subjective Aspects of Pain. Philosophical Psychology 4 (2):249-66.
Yutaka Nakamura & C. Chapman (2002). Constructing Pain: How Pain Hurts. In Kunio Yasue, Marj Jibu & Tarcisio Della Senta (eds.), No Matter, Never Mind. John Benjamins.
Charles Sayward (2004). Malcolm on Criteria. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):349-358.
David B. Resnik & Marsha Rehm (2001). The Undertreatment of Pain: Scientific, Clinical, Cultural, and Philosophical Factors. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 4 (3):277-288.
Nico H. Frijda (2002). What is Pain Facial Expression For? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):460-460.
Donald F. Gustafson (1998). Pain, Qualia, and the Explanatory Gap. Philosophical Psychology 11 (3):371-387.
Donald F. Gustafson (2000). On the Supposed Utility of a Folk Theory of Pain. Brain and Mind 1 (2):223-228.
Kevin Reuter (2011). Distinguishing the Appearance From the Reality of Pain. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):94-109.
Terry Dartnall (2001). The Pain Problem. Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):95-102.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads69 ( #20,248 of 1,099,028 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #58,097 of 1,099,028 )
How can I increase my downloads?