Thinking of oneself as the thinker: the concept of self and the phenomenology of intellection

Philosophical Explorations 19 (2):138-160 (2016)

Authors
Marie Guillot
University of Essex
Abstract
The indexical word “I” has traditionally been assumed to be an overt analogue to the concept of self, and the best model for understanding it. This approach, I argue, overlooks the essential role of cognitive phenomenology in the mastery of the concept of self. I suggest that a better model is to be found in a different kind of representation: phenomenal concepts or more generally phenomenally grounded concepts. I start with what I take to be the defining feature of the concept of self, namely its “super-reflexivity”: to use this concept is not just to think of oneself, but to think of oneself as the thinker of the present thought. I call this familiar observation the “Thinker Intuition”. I review some shortcomings of the indexical model of the concept of self, which is the classical account of the Thinker Intuition. I go on to propose a different account, the “phenomenal model”, according to which the concept of self is a phenomenally grounded concept, anchored in a generic kind of cognitive phenomenolog...
Keywords the concept of self  super-reflexivity  indexicality  phenomenal concepts  cognitive phenomenology  the phenomenology of intellection
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2016.1176232
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Meaning of “I” in “I”-Thought.Minyao Huang - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (5):480-501.

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