Recent years have witnessed the development of theories involving a self-referential structure in different areas of the philosophy of mind and language, among which the philosophy of consciousness, the analysis of the Cartesian cogito, and the study of first-personal utterances and thoughts. In all these fields, what justifies the hypothesis that the parsing of the content at issue must bring to the fore a self-referential mechanism is the explanatory role such a structure is believed to play, as regards a number of salient epistemic properties (e.g. consciousness, immunity to error through misidentification, a priori certainty) characteristic of the grasp a subject has of the said content. The aim of this talk will be to challenge this widespread line of argument, by arguing that the only possible way to interpret the postulated self-reflexive structures if they are to have any explanatory fecundity has this untoward consequence that they should be circular, in a way that would be incompatible with the very epistemic features at issue.
La séance aura lieu de 13H à 15H en salle 019 de la Maison de la Recherche.
Venez nombreux !