The Paradox of Self-consciousness

Front Cover
MIT Press, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 338 pages
0 Reviews

In this book, José Luis Bermúdez addesses two fundamental problems in the philosophy and psychology of self-consciousness: (1) Can we provide a noncircular account of fully fledged self-conscious thought and language in terms of more fundamental capacities? (2) Can we explain how fully fledged self-conscious thought and language can arise in the normal course of human development? Bermúdez argues that a paradox (the paradox of self-consciousness) arises from the apparent strict interdependence 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 recent 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 primitive forms of self-consciousness that are prelinguistic and preconceptual. Such primitive 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 primitive forms of self-consciousness to dissolve the paradox of self-consciousness and to show how the two questions can be given an affirmative answer.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

IV
1
V
2
VI
5
VII
9
VIII
14
IX
21
X
24
XI
27
XXXI
135
XXXII
145
XXXIII
151
XXXIV
163
XXXV
168
XXXVI
188
XXXVII
193
XXXVIII
198

XII
28
XIII
39
XIV
43
XV
49
XVI
50
XVII
58
XVIII
62
XIX
76
XX
83
XXII
94
XXIII
103
XXV
115
XXVI
123
XXVII
128
XXVIII
131
XXIX
132
XXX
134
XXXIX
203
XL
207
XLI
220
XLII
229
XLIII
230
XLIV
237
XLV
241
XLVI
247
XLVII
267
XLVIII
275
XLIX
291
L
294
LI
299
LII
313
LIII
327
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

José Luis Bermúdez received an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University in 1988 and a PhD in 1992. He was a professor and chair of the philosophy department at the University of Stirling, U. K. before becoming a professor of philosophy at Washington University of St. Louis. His works include The Paradox of Self-Consciousness, Thinking Without Words, and Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction.

Bibliographic information