About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2016)
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Abstract

Inspired by Castañeda (1966, 1968), Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979) showed that a specific variety of singular thoughts, thoughts about oneself “as oneself” – de se thoughts, as Lewis called them – raise special issues, and they advanced rival accounts. Their suggestive examples raise the problem of de se thought – to wit, how to characterize it so as to give an accurate account of the data, tracing its relations to singular thoughts in general. After rehearsing the main tenets of two contrasting accounts – a Lewisian one and a Perrian one – in the first section of this paper, in the second I will present a proposal of my own, which is a specific elaboration of the Perrian account. In the first section I will indicate some weaknesses of Perry’s presentation of his view; the proposal I will articulate in the second overcomes them. I will conclude with a brief discussion of reasons for preferring one or another account, in particular regarding the issue of the communication of de se thoughts.

Author Profiles

Stephan Torre
University of Aberdeen
Manuel García-Carpintero
Universitat de Barcelona

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