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Thinking of oneself as the thinker: the concept of self and the phenomenology of intellection

UNSPECIFIED (2016) 'Thinking of oneself as the thinker: the concept of self and the phenomenology of intellection.' Philosophical Explorations, 19 (2). 138 - 160. ISSN 1386-9795

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The indexical word “I” has traditionally been assumed to be an overt analogue to the concept of self, and the best model for understanding it. This approach, I argue, overlooks the essential role of cognitive phenomenology in the mastery of the concept of self. I suggest that a better model is to be found in a different kind of representation: phenomenal concepts or more generally phenomenally grounded concepts. I start with what I take to be the defining feature of the concept of self, namely its “super-reflexivity”: to use this concept is not just to think of oneself, but to think of oneself as the thinker of the present thought. I call this familiar observation the “Thinker Intuition”. I review some shortcomings of the indexical model of the concept of self, which is the classical account of the Thinker Intuition. I go on to propose a different account, the “phenomenal model”, according to which the concept of self is a phenomenally grounded concept, anchored in a generic kind of cognitive phenomenology: the phenomenology of intellection.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2017 14:58
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19991

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