The Paradox of Self–Consciousness Revisited
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2002
2002 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 83, Issue 4, pages 424–443, December 2002
How to Cite
Robbins, P. (2002), The Paradox of Self–Consciousness Revisited. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 83: 424–443. doi: 10.1111/1468-0114.t01-1-00158
- Issue published online: 17 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 17 DEC 2002
- Cited By
The so–called paradox of self–consciousness suggests that self–consciousness, understood as the capacity to think about oneself in a first–person way, cannot be explained. The author of the paradox contends that the only way to avert this result is by invoking the notion of nonconceptual first–person thought. This contention is rooted in adherence to the Linguistic Priority Principle, which dictates that pre–and nonlinguistic creatures lack concepts. I argue that the latter claim is dubious, and that the paradox of self–consciousness can be better disarmed by denying the dependence of first–person conceptual thought on first–person language.