The Sceptical Paradox and the Nature of the Self

Philosophical Investigations 39 (1):3-14 (2016)
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Abstract
In the present article, I attempt to relate Saul Kripke's “sceptical paradox” to some issues about the self; specifically, the relation between the self and its mental states and episodes. I start with a brief reconstruction of the paradox, and venture to argue that it relies crucially on a Cartesian model of the self: the sceptic regards the Wittgensteinian “infinite regress of interpretation” as the foundation of his challenge, and this is where he commits the crucial mistake. After the diagnosis, I attempt to sketch my own model of the self and its mental states and episodes. This tentative picture binds meaning and the self together, stressing the subjective aspect of meaning without committing the same fallacy. The solution ventured here is relatively independent of the secondary literatures on the sceptical paradox of following rules, for it aims to provide a new angle to understand and meet the challenge presented by the sceptic.
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First archival date: 2016-02-06
Latest version: 3 (2018-05-22)
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