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“I” Who?: A New Look at Peirce’s Theory of Indexical Self-Reference

“I” Who?: A New Look at Peirce’s Theory of Indexical Self-Reference marco stango University of Macerata I. The aim of this article is to address the problem of what is usually called "self-consciousness" by studying Charles S. Peirce's semeiotic treatment of self-referential statements. Peirce believes that an adequate study of the mind requires "to reduce all mental action," including "self-consciousness," "to the formula of valid reasoning" (W 2:214, EP 1:30, 5:267, 1868) and its semeiotic nature. While Peirce makes frequent use of the notion of "consciousness," he is at the same time distant from the understanding of the "conscious mind" that Descartes invented and made canonical (e.g., W 1:491, 1866), and which from the modern epoch stretches out to the contemporary discussion on, as David Chalmers put it, the "hard problem" of the mind.1 In what follows, I argue that Peirce puts forth a powerful theory of self-consciousness based on his semeiotic understanding of self-reference and indexicality.2 To the question, "How can we elucidate the phenomenon of self-consciousness?", we should answer, with Peirce, "What we call self-consciousness corresponds to the practice of narratives and descriptions ultimately based on indexical self-referential statements, which are in turn rooted in very specific dimensions of human experience." It is also important to underscore http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Pluralist University of Illinois Press

“I” Who?: A New Look at Peirce’s Theory of Indexical Self-Reference

The Pluralist , Volume 10 (2) – Jun 19, 2015

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University of Illinois Press
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Copyright © University of Illinois Press
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1944-6489
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Abstract

marco stango University of Macerata I. The aim of this article is to address the problem of what is usually called "self-consciousness" by studying Charles S. Peirce's semeiotic treatment of self-referential statements. Peirce believes that an adequate study of the mind requires "to reduce all mental action," including "self-consciousness," "to the formula of valid reasoning" (W 2:214, EP 1:30, 5:267, 1868) and its semeiotic nature. While Peirce makes frequent use of the notion of "consciousness," he is at the same time distant from the understanding of the "conscious mind" that Descartes invented and made canonical (e.g., W 1:491, 1866), and which from the modern epoch stretches out to the contemporary discussion on, as David Chalmers put it, the "hard problem" of the mind.1 In what follows, I argue that Peirce puts forth a powerful theory of self-consciousness based on his semeiotic understanding of self-reference and indexicality.2 To the question, "How can we elucidate the phenomenon of self-consciousness?", we should answer, with Peirce, "What we call self-consciousness corresponds to the practice of narratives and descriptions ultimately based on indexical self-referential statements, which are in turn rooted in very specific dimensions of human experience." It is also important to underscore

Journal

The PluralistUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jun 19, 2015

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