The structure of I-Thoughts. Kant and Wittgenstein on the genesis of Cartesian self


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Abstract
Perry and Recanati describe I-thoughts or de se thoughts as thoughts about oneself ‘as oneself’. The analysis of the structure of the I-thoughts is intertwined with several epistemic and metaphysical questions. The aim of this paper is to highlight that the absence of an identification component does not imply that the I doesn’t perform a referential function, nor that it necessarily involves a specific metaphysical thesis on the nature of the self-conscious subject. Particularly, as far as the genesis of the Cartesian illusion concerning the thinking subject’s immaterial nature is concerned – one of the issues addressed in the Blue Book and in the first Critique – Kant and Wittgenstein seem to share the same philosophical concerns, as they both focus, although not exclusively, on the type of reference involved in the I, obviously via extremely different philosophical paths and with what may appear antipodal, metaphysical assumptions at first sight.
Keywords Kant  Wittgenstein  I-thoughts,  self-consciousness  self-reference  indexicality
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