Bastian Reichardt
Universität Bonn
Are persons rational because they are self-conscious or are they self-conscious because they are rational? Wittgenstein's remarks on the grammatical peculiarities of first-person expressions are not only a criticism of the conception of a Cartesian Ego but also give rise to systematical extensions which help to answer our question. The distinction between subject- and object-usage of ,,I” – which is made in the ,,Blue Book” – enables Wittgenstein to conceive of sentences like ,,I am in pain” as non-referential expressions. With this distinction, Wittgenstein criticizes the ontological commitment to an Ego which results from the referential usage of ,,I”. Nevertheless, Wittgenstein's distinction stands in need of an addition: We will distinguish an epistemic form of expression from a phenomenal form. On this basis, we can show that self-consciousness systematically builds on rationality – and not the other way around. Competent usage of epistemic-expressive I-sentences is antecedent to talking meaningfully of a self-conscious person. In turn, the competent usage of such sentences is embedded in a social structure. Self-consciousness has a social place.
Keywords Wittgenstein  Self-Knowledge  Expression
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3196/004433017820875783
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sprache und Bewusstsein. Zur Theorie des Selbstbewusstseins.Wolfgang Röhrl - 1987 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 49 (1):148-148.
Der soziale Tod.Todor Kuljic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (3):106-115.
Kommunikationsmedien, Sprache und soziale Organisation.Rüdiger Weingarten - 1994 - Ethik Und Sozialwissenschaften 5 (4):553.
Wergeld und soziale Netzwerke im Frankenreich.Stefan Esders - 2014 - In Karl Ubl & Steffen Patzold (eds.), Verwandtschaft, Name Und Soziale Ordnung. De Gruyter. pp. 141-160.
Sozialethik und soziale Ordnung - Die Kammer der EKD für soziale Ordnung.Theodor Strohm - 1987 - Zeitschrift Für Evangelische Ethik 31 (1):434-447.


Added to PP index

Total views
28 ( #408,440 of 2,507,536 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,263 of 2,507,536 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes