So you think you exist? — In defense of nolipsism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Thomas M. Crisp, Matthew Davidson & David Vander Laan (eds.), Knowledge and Reality: Essays in Honor of Alvin Plantinga. Springer (2006)
Human beings think of themselves in terms of a privileged non-descriptive designator — a mental “I”. Such thoughts are called “_de se_” thoughts. The mind/body problem is the problem of deciding what kind of thing I am, and it can be regarded as arising from the fact that we think of ourselves non-descriptively. Why do we think of ourselves in this way? We investigate the functional role of “I” (and also “here” and “now”) in cognition, arguing that the use of such non-descriptive “reflexive” designators is essential for making sophisticated cognition work in a general-purpose cognitive agent. If we were to build a robot capable of similar cognitive tasks as humans, it would have to be equipped with such designators
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