The Problem of First-Person Aboutness

Croatian Journal of Philosophy (57):521-541 (2019)

Abstract

The topic of this paper is the question of in virtue of what first-person thoughts are about what they are about. I focus on a dilemma arising from this question. On the one hand, approaches to answering this question that promise to be satisfying seem doomed to be inconsistent with the seeming truism that first-person thought is always about the thinker of the thought. But on the other hand, ensuring consistency with that truism seems doomed to make any answer to the question unsatisfying. Contrary to a careful and enticing recent effort to both sharpen and escape this dilemma by Daniel Morgan, I will argue that the dilemma remains pressing both for broadly epistemic and broadly causal-acquaintance-based accounts of the aboutness of first-person thought.

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