The first person perspective: Language, thought, and action

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2018)
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Abstract

What it is to have a first person perspective? How do we come to understand our own perspective in the world? How do we take into account other people's perspectives in our social and linguistic interactions? This dissertation is an exploration of these issues. But instead of approaching them in the abstract, it aims to shed light on these difficult questions through a series of case studies. First, I examine the role of the first person perspective in our agency, and explain the sense in which it is essential for action. Next, drawing on recent work in psychology, I propose an model of the development of temporal self-understanding in young children. Lastly, I develop a two-level pragmatic theory of epistemic modals.

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Pengbo Liu
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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