The First Person*

Kripke Saul A.

in Philosophical Troubles

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730155
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918430 | DOI:
The First Person*

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This chapter focuses on the perplexities some philosophers have felt concerning the simple first person pronoun “I.” It considers the views of David Kaplan, Frege, and David Lewis. It argues that the first person use of “I” does not have a Fregean sense, at least if this means that it has a definition. But it might be a paradigmatic case of fixing a reference by means of a description: it is a rule of the common language that each of us fixes the reference of “I” by the description “the subject.” However, since each of us speaks a natural language, and not an imaginary “scientific language” spoken by no one, for each of us the referent can be different.

Keywords: first person pronoun; Frege; David Kaplan; reference; David Lewis

Chapter.  18126 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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