The Demonstrative Model of first-person thought

Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1795-1811 (2015)
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What determines the reference of first-person thoughts—thoughts that one would express using the first-person pronoun? I defend a model on which our ways of gaining knowledge of ourselves do, in much the way that our ways of gaining knowledge of objects in the world determine the reference of perceptual demonstrative thoughts. This model—the Demonstrative Model of First-Person Thought—can be motivated by reference to independently plausible general principles about how reference is determined. But it faces a serious objection. There seems to be an explanatory rival to it with a great deal of plausiblility. The rival is The Simple Rule Model, which says that first-person thoughts are governed by the simple rule that any token of one will be about the person whose token it is. I pinpoint a crucial unclarity in The Simple Rule Model, hinging on how we understand the notion of a rule, and argue that no version of the Simple Rule Model is both plausible and a genuine explanatory rival to the Demonstrative Model. I also provide an argument that the Demonstrative Model is extensionally adequate



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Daniel Morgan
University of York

Citations of this work

Self-Consciousness.Joel Smith - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
First-Person Thought.Daniel Morgan & Léa Salje - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):148-163.
Immunity, thought insertion, and the first-person concept.Michele Palmira - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3833-3860.
Principles of Acquaintance.Jessica Pepp - 2019 - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Reference and Consciousness.John Campbell - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The reference book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by David Manley.

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