Journal of Philosophy 118 (7):345-372 (2021)
AbstractA traditional view holds that the self-concept is essentially indexical. In a highly influential article, Ruth Millikan famously held that the self-concept should be understood as a Millian name with a sui generis functional role. This article presents a novel explanatory argument against the Millian view and in favor of the indexical view. The argument starts from a characterization of the self-concept as a device of information integration. It then shows that the indexical view yields a better explanation of the integration function than the Millian view. The resulting account can rebut Millikan’s objections and it has broader implications for the debate on the essential indexical.
Archival historyArchival date: 2020-07-22
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