Reflexivity, Fixed Points, and Semantic Descent; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Reflexivity

Acta Analytica 26 (4):295-310 (2011)
For most of the major philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, human cognition was understood as involving the mind’s reflexive grasp of its own contents. But other important figures have described the very idea of a reflexive thought as incoherent. Ryle notably likened the idea of a reflexive thought to an arm that grasps itself. Recent work in philosophy, psychology, and the cognitive sciences has greatly clarified the special epistemic and semantic properties of reflexive thought. This article is an attempt to give an explicit characterization of the structure of reflexive thoughts that explains those properties and avoids the complaints of its critics
Keywords Reflexive thought  Model-theoretic argument  Semantic descent  Self-representation  Cognition  Reference-grounding  Lehrer
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-011-0132-2
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John Perry (2009). Reference and Reflexivity. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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