A Defence of Lichtenberg

Episteme:1-16 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Cartesians and Lichtenbergians have diverging views of the deliverances of introspection. According to the Cartesians, a rational subject, competent with the relevant concepts, can come to know that he or she thinks – hence, that he or she exists – on the sole basis of his or her introspective awareness of his or her conscious thinking. According to the Lichtenbergians, this is not possible. This paper offers a defence of the Lichtenbergian position using Peacocke and Campbell's recent exchange on Descartes'scogitoas a framework for discussion. A thought-experiment will be presented involving two communities with radically different conceptions of the metaphysics of the self. The purpose of the thought-experiment is to suggest that a substantive metaphysical thesis, whose truth cannot be a priori known, is presupposed by any justified transition from one's introspective awareness of a certain mental activity to the self-ascription of that activity.

Similar books and articles

Descartes Defended.Christopher Peacocke - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):109-125.
Lichtenberg’s Point.Boris Hennig - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):265-286.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Idealism.Steven Tester - 2016 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (2):283-306.
G.C. Lichtenberg on Self-Consciousness and Personal Identity.Steven Tester - 2013 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 95 (3):336-359.
Donald C. Williams’s defence of real metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (2):332-355.
Introspection distinct from first-order experiences.Morten Overgaard & T. A. Sorenson - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):11--7.
Cogito Ergo Sum: Christopher Peacocke and John Campbell: II—Lichtenberg and the Cogito.John Campbell - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (3pt3):361-378.
The Role of Reasonableness in Self-Defence.Dr Hamish Stewart - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 16 (2):317-336.
Contagious disease and self-defence.T. M. Wilkinson - 2007 - Res Publica 13 (4):339-359.


Added to PP

144 (#95,286)

6 months
23 (#66,078)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Giovanni Merlo
University of Geneva

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Troubles with functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Mind 93 (371):450-455.
Philosophical Explanations. [REVIEW]Robert Nozick - 1981 - Philosophy 58 (223):118-121.
On Social Facts.Margaret Gilbert - 1989 - Ethics 102 (4):853-856.
The unreliability of naive introspection.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Philosophical Review 117 (2):245-273.

View all 33 references / Add more references