In the s he was active in the Davidsonian project of providing a semantic theory for natural languageco-editing with Gareth Evans a volume of essays entitled Truth and Meaning. In his early work, McDowell was very much involved both with the development of the Davidsonian semantic programme and with the internecine dispute between those who take the core of a theory that can play the role of a theory of meaning to involve the grasp of truth conditions, and those, such as Michael Dummettwho argued that linguistic understanding must, at its core, involve the grasp of assertion conditions. If, Dummett argued, the core of a theory that is going to do duty for a theory of a meaning is supposed to represent a speaker's understanding, then that understanding must be something of which a speaker can manifest a grasp.
References and Further Reading 1.
Introduction Throughout our waking life, we are conscious of a variety of things. We are often conscious of other people, of cars, trees, beetles, and other objects around us.
We are conscious of their features: We are conscious of events involving them: Sometimes we are also conscious of ourselves, our features, and the events that take place within us.
Thus, we may become conscious, in a certain situation, of the fact that we are nervous or uncomfortable. We may become conscious of a rising anxiety, or of a sudden cheerfulness. Sometimes we are conscious of simpler things: In addition, we sometimes have the sense that we are continuously conscious of ourselves going about our business in the world.
These forms of self-consciousness—consciousness of ourselves and our personal existence, of our character traits and standing features, and of the thoughts that occur to us and the feelings that we experience—are philosophically fascinating, inasmuch as they are at once quite mysterious and closest to home.
Our scientific theories of astrophysical objects that are incredibly distant from us in both space and time, or of the smallest particles that make up the sub-atomic layer of reality, are mature, sophisticated, and impressive.
Here, as elsewhere, the immaturity of our scientific understanding of self-consciousness invites philosophical reflection on the topic, and is anyway partly due precisely to deep philosophical puzzles about the nature of self-consciousness.
Many philosophers have thought that self-consciousness exhibits certain peculiarities not to be found in consciousness of things other than ourselves, and indeed possibly not to be found anywhere else in nature. Philosophical work on self-consciousness has thus mostly focused on the identification and articulation of these peculiarities.
More specifically, it has sought some epistemic and semantic peculiarities of self-consciousness, that is, peculiarities as regards how we know, and more generally how we represent, ourselves and our internal lives.
This entry will accordingly focus on these peculiarities. After drawing certain fundamental distinctions, and considering the conditions for the very possibility of self-consciousness, we will discuss first the nature of the relevant epistemic peculiarities and then more extensively the semantic ones.
Some Distinctions Let us start by drawing some distinctions. The distinctions I will draw are meant as conceptual distinctions. Whether they stand for real differences between the properties putatively picked out by the relevant concepts is a separate matter.
The first important distinction is between self-consciousness as a property of whole individuals and self-consciousness as a property of particular mental states. My being self-conscious involves my being conscious of my self. We may call the property that I have creature self-consciousness and the property that my thought has state self-consciousness.
It is a form of self-consciousness in the sense that it is directed inward, and takes as its object an internal state of mine. But it is not a form of self-consciousness in the stronger sense of involving consciousness of self. I will refer to the stronger variety as strong self-consciousness and the weaker as weak self-consciousness.
State self-consciousness is consciousness of what happens within oneself, whereas creature self-consciousness is consciousness of oneself proper. Note, however, that a mental state may be both creature- and state-self-conscious. Thus, if I am conscious of my thought that p as my thought, as a thought of mine, then I am conscious both of my thought and of myself.
Another traditional distinction, which dates back to Kantis between consciousness of oneself qua object and consciousness of oneself qua subject.
Suppose I am conscious of Budapest or of Budapest and its odors. I am the subject of the thought, its object is Budapest. But suppose now that I am conscious of myself or of myself and my feelings. Now I am both the subject and the object of the thought.
But although the subject and the object of the thought happen to be the same thing, there is still a conceptual distinction to be made between myself in my capacity as object of thought and myself in my capacity as subject of thought.
That is to say, even though there is one entity here, there are two separate concepts for this entity, the self-as-subject concept and the self-as-object concept. To mark this difference, William James introduced a technical distinction between the I and the me.Der ausgezeichnete Essay wird in der zweiten Jahreshälfte in den Grazer Philosophische Studien erscheinen.
Wir beglückwünschen den Gewinner und danken allen Teilnehmer_innen für ihren Beitrag! Grazer Philosophische Studien is a peer reviewed journal that publishes articles on philosophical problems in every area, especially articles .
Concepts are the constituents of thoughts. Consequently, they are crucial to such psychological processes as categorization, inference, memory, learning, and decision-making. I stopped updating this guide in February , after eight years online. I plan to leave it online for the foreseeable future and hope that enough links are still alive to make it useful.
Self-Consciousness. Philosophical work on self-consciousness has mostly focused on the identification and articulation of specific epistemic and semantic peculiarities of self-consciousness, peculiarities which distinguish it from consciousness of things other than oneself.
Grazer Philosophische Studien - International Journal for Analytic Philosophy is a peer reviewed journal that publishes articles on philosophical problems in every area, especially articles related to the analytic tradition.
Each year at least two volumes are published, including special issues with invited papers.