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vineri, 26 iunie 2009

The Paradox of Self-Consciousness - José Bermúdez

In this text Jose Luis Bermudez addresses two fundamental problems in the philosophy and psychology of self-consciousness:
can we provide a noncircular account of fully fledged self-conscious thought and language in terms of more fundamental capacities?; can we explain how fully fledged self-conscious thought and language can arise in the normal course of human development ?

Bermudez argues that a paradox (the paradox of self-consciousness) arises from the apparent strictinterdependence between self-conscious thought and linguistic self-reference. The paradox renders circular all theories that define self-consciousness in terms of linguistic mastery of the first-person pronoun.

It seems to follow from the paradox of self-consciousness that no such account or explanation can be given. Drawing on late-1990s work in empirical psychology and philosophy, the author argues that any explanation of fully fledged self-consciousness that answers these two questions requires attention to primative forms of self-conciousness that are prelinguistic and preconceptual.

Such primative forms of self-consciousness are to be found in somatic proprioception, the structure of exteroceptive perception, and prelinguistic forms of social interaction.

The author uses these primative forms of self-consciousness to dissolve the paradox of self-consciousness and to show how the two questions can be given an affirmative answer.



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