Michael Pauen
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Abstract The rise of social neuroscience has brought the second-person perspective back into the focus of philosophy. Although this is not a new topic, it is certainly less well understood than the first-person and third-person perspectives, and it is even unclear whether it can be reduced to one of these perspectives. The present paper argues that no such reduction is possible because the second-person perspective provides a unique kind of access to certain facts, namely other persons' mental states, particularly, but not only, in social contexts. The paper starts with the idea that perspectives are ways of epistemic access that determine an epistemic subject's recognition of a certain object. While the first-person perspective is subjective because it is based on, and directed at, the epistemic subject's experiences, the third-person perspective, which is based on objective evidence and gives access to all kinds of entities, is objective. The second-person perspective, by contrast, is intersubjective because it is a relation between an epistemic subject and another sentient being's mental states. It involves the epistemic subject's replication of those states, a basic self/other distinction and a basic awareness of the relevant situational differences between the epistemic subject and the other being. This is why the second-person perspective is a perspective on a perspective, which involves a basic awareness of perspectivalness, even if second-person perspective taking may be subpersonal to a large extent
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2012.643623
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,467
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Phenomenal States.Brian Loar - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:81-108.
Self-Reference and Self-Awareness.Sydney S. Shoemaker - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (October):555-67.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Phenomenology of the Intersubjective Impairment.Ines Hipolito - 2016 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 22 (4):608-614.
(New) Realist Social Cognition.Nicolás Araneda Hinrichs - 2020 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Personal Perspectives.John J. Drummond - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (S1):28-44.
Subjectivity and the Limits of Narrative.Joseph Neisser - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (2):51-66.
Consciousness and the "Causal Paradox".Max Velmans - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (3):538-542.
Phenomenology: Neither Auto- nor Hetero- Be.John J. Drummond - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2):57-74.
Crossing the Bridge: The First-Person and Time.Patrick Stokes - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2):295-312.
Consciousness and Intentionality.John Barresi - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1-2):77-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
137 ( #72,291 of 2,421,227 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #152,539 of 2,421,227 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes