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vrinda dalmiya

Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631192589.1993.x


The expression ‘self-consciousness’ can mean different things. In the sense (I) ‘consciousness of self it refers to the awareness a subject (of experience) has of itself i.e. of the typical referent of the pronoun T. It is not merely a grasp of the entity that happens to be myself, but an awareness of myself known as myself. The philosophical issues here revolve around how such awareness is generated and what its logical structure is. Alternatively, self-consciousness can be (2) ‘experience of the items in one's consciousness or the contents of consciousness’ like sensations, thoughts, feelings etc. This leaves open the possibility of such awareness being a result of the special faculty of introspection. However, there is a use of self-consciousness that refers to the ‘self-intimation’ of every conscious state and in this sense it means (3) the ‘ability of a conscious state to become an object to itself. The philosophical problem here is to cash out in epistemic and metaphysical terms the metaphor of ‘phosphorescence’ that is generally used to capture this reflexivity of consciousness. See also introspection ; self-knowledge and self-identity . : ‘ The first-person’ , in Mind and Language ed. ( Oxford : Clarendon Press , 1975 ). : Critique of Pure Reason trans . ( London : Macmillan , 1964 ). : Myself and Others ( Oxford : Clarendon Press , 1968 ), esp. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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