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Knowing Selves

Salje, L-C; (2016) Knowing Selves. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This dissertation is about first person thought. More specifically, it’s about the interface between two initially tempting features of first person thought. The first is its pure reflexivity; first person thought is thought about its thinker no matter what else might be the case with the her at the time of thinking. First person thought, that is to say, doesn’t depend on the vagaries of contingent empirical facts about the subject at the time the thought is thought; it will always just be thought that is about its thinker. The second has to do with a special cluster of ways we have of being aware of ourselves as ourselves, as it is sometimes put. No further cognitive work is required, for instance, when I come to know in the normal way about the presence of hunger, anger, or blushing to put me in a position to know that I am hungry, angry or blushing. The deliverances of these epistemic channels come ready-formed, as it were, for uptake in a first person thought. To suggest that there is a tension between these two features of first person thought would perhaps be something of an exaggeration. But by placing them side-by-side we can more readily see that there is something about holding them together than invites explanation. How, the question is, should we account for the second feature without undermining the first — where should we place these special first personal forms of self-awareness in a full account of first person thought such that they will not threaten the intuition of pure unsupported indexicality? This dissertation develops an account of first person thinking that comfortably houses both of these features of first person thought without compromising on either one.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Knowing Selves
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: First person thought
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473922
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