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|Title: ||The self and self-conciousness|
|Authors: ||Hamilton, Andrew J.|
|Supervisors: ||Wright, Crispin|
|Issue Date: ||1988|
|Abstract: ||It is the aim of this thesis to consider two accounts of
1st-person utterances that are often mistakenly conflated - viz.
that involving the 'no-reference' view of "I", and that of the
non-assertoric thesis of avowals. The first account says that in a
large range of (roughly) 'psychological' uses, 'I' is not a
referring expression; the second, that avowals of 1st-personal
'immediate' experience are primarily 'expressive' and not genuine
The two views are expressions of what I term 'Trojanism'.
This viewpoint constitutes one side of a 'Homeric Opposition in the
Metaphysics of Experience', and has been endorsed by Wittgenstein
throughout his writings; it has received recent expression in
Professor Anscombe's article 'The First Person'. I explore the
ideas of these writers in some depth, and consider to what extent
they stand up to criticism by such notable 'Greek' contenders as
P.F. Strawson and Gareth Evans.
I first give neutral accounts of the key-concepts on which
subsequent arguments are based. These are the immunity to error
through misidentification (IEM) of certain 1st-person utterances,
the guaranteed reference of 'I', avowal, and the Generality Constraint. I consider the close relation of Trojanism to solipsism and
behaviourism, and then assess the effectiveness of two arguments for
that viewpoint - Anscombe's Tank Argument and the argument from IEM.
Though each is appealing, neither is decisive; to assess Trojanism
properly we need to look at the non-assertoric thesis of avowals,
which alone affords the prospect of a resolution of the really
intractable problems of the self generated by Cartesianism.
In the course of the latter assessment I consider the
different varieties of avowal, broadening the discussion beyond the
over-used example 'I am in pain'. I explore Wittgenstein's notion
of 'expression', and discuss how this notion may help to explain the
authority a subject possesses on his mental states as expressed in
avowals. My conclusion is that an expressive account of avowals can
provide a satisfactory counter to the Cartesian account of authority
without our needing recourse to a non-assertoric or even to a non-
Discussion of self-consciousness is implicit in discussion of
the Homeric Opposition, but there is in addition a short chapter on
the concept itself.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Philosophy Theses|
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