Referring to Oneself

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (4):629 - 652 (1985)
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In her influential paper, ‘The First Person,’ Elizabeth Anscombe brings together a number of considerations which, she believes, lead to the startling conclusion that the first person pronoun is not a referring expression — that ‘I’ is never used to refer. This is startling, because if we consider even superficially the logical properties of first person statements, nothing could, prima facie, seem more obvious than that in any such statement, the first person pronoun functions logically as a singular referring expression. Moreover, Anscombe herself offers the following informal gloss on the truth conditions of first person assertions: ‘If X asserts something with ‘I’ as subject, his assertion will be true if and only if what he asserts is true of X.’



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William Taschek
Ohio State University

References found in this work

Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.

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