The Paradox of Self-Consciousness (Representation and Mind)

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9780262024419: The Paradox of Self-Consciousness (Representation and Mind)
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In this book, José Luis Bermúdez addesses two fundamental problems in the philosophy and psychology of self-consciousness: (1) Can we provide a noncircular account of fully fledged self-conscious thought and language in terms of more fundamental capacities? (2) Can we explain how fully fledged self-conscious thought and language can arise in the normal course of human development? Bermúdez argues that a paradox (the paradox of self-consciousness) arises from the apparent strict interdependence between self-conscious thought and linguistic self-reference. The paradox renders circular all theories that define self-consciousness in terms of linguistic mastery of the first-person pronoun. It seems to follow from the paradox of self-consciousness that no such account or explanation can be given.

elinguistic and preconceptual. Such primitive forms of self-consciDrawing on recent work in empirical psychology and philosophy, the author argues that any explanation of fully fledged self-consciousness that answers these two questions requires attention to primitive forms of self-consciousness that are prousness are to be found in somatic proprioception, the structure of exteroceptive perception, and prelinguistic forms of social interaction. The author uses these primitive forms of self-consciousness to dissolve the paradox of self-consciousness and to show how the two questions can be given an affirmative answer.

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About the Author:

José Luis Bermúdez is Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

Review:

"The book presents in accessible fashion recent important work on the self and self-consciousness and also moves the issues forward with interesting new ideas. It provides a notably crisp and clear treatment of some extremely intriguing topics."
Jane Heal, Department of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

". . . a rich and rewarding book on one of the most difficult topics in philosophy. No philosopher heretofore has come close to bringing such a wide range of scientific findings to bear on self-consciousness in its many stages and aspects. The reader can safely venture into the Bermúdez triangle. An edifying experience awaits."
Kent Bach, Philosophical Psychology

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9780262522779: The Paradox of Self-Consciousness (Representation and Mind)

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ISBN 10:  0262522772 ISBN 13:  9780262522779
Publisher: A Bradford Book, 2000
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