<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Shoemaker (Sydney) - The First-Person Perspective (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_00/PaperSummary_34.htm">The First-Person Perspective</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Shoemaker (Sydney).htm">Shoemaker (Sydney)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_00/PaperSummary_34.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_00/PapersToNotes_34.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><u>Author s Introduction</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Some would say that the philosophy of mind without the first-person perspective, or the first-person point of view, is like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Others would say that it is like Hamlet without the King of Denmark, or like Othello without Iago. I say both. I think of myself as a friend of the first-person perspective. Some would say that I am too friendly to it, for I hold views about first-person access and first-person authority that many would regard as unacceptably "Cartesian." I certainly think that it is essential to a philosophical understanding of the mental that we appreciate that there is a first person perspective on it, a distinctive way mental states present themselves to the subjects whose states they are, and that an essential part of the philosophical task is to give an account of mind which makes intelligible the perspective mental subjects have on their own mental lives. And I do not think, as I think some do, that the right theory about all this will be primarily an "error theory." But I also think that the first-person perspective is sometimes rightly cast as the villain in the piece. It is not only the denigrators of introspection that assign it this role. Kant did so in the Paralogisms, seeing our vantage on our selves as the source of transcendental illusions about the substantiality of the self. And <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>1</SUP>'s "private language argument" can be seen as another attempt to show how the first-person perspective can mislead us about the nature of mind. </li><li>My concern here is with the role of the first-person perspective in the distinctively philosophical activity of conducting <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiments</A><SUP>2</SUP> designed to test metaphysical and conceptual claims about the mind. In conducting such a <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiment</A><SUP>3</SUP> one envisages a putatively possible situation and inquires whether it really is possible and, if so, what its possibility shows about the nature of mind or the nature of mental concepts. Such envisaging can be done either from the "third-person point of view" or the "first-person point of view." In the one case, one imagines seeing someone doing, saying, and undergoing certain things, and one asks whether this would be a case of something which has been thought to be philosophically problematic-e.g., someone's having an unconscious pain. In the other case, one imagines being oneself the subject of certain mental states-imagines feeling, thinking, etc., certain things-in a case in which certain other things are true, e.g., one's body is in a certain condition, and asks what this shows about some philosophical claim about the relation of mind to body. The question I want to pursue is whether there is anything that can be established by such first-person envisagings that cannot be revealed just as effectively by third-person envisagings. </li></ol> </FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>Originally in Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Nov., 1994), pp. 7-22<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T05:27" pubdate>02/08/2018 05:27:42</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>