Title

First-person perspective and immunity to error through misidentification

Abstract

Recent discussions of immunity to error through misidentification (IEM) have suggested a number of possible exceptions to a principle meant to apply without exception to specific ways of referring to, or experiencing oneself. As Wittgenstein (1958) first explained it, IEM applies to any use of the first-person pronoun as subject. He distinguished use of the first-person pronoun as subject from its use as object, by examples. On the one hand, ‘as subject’ means any first-person reference I make to myself as an experiencing subject. For example, if I experience a toothache, it would be nonsensical to say ‘Someone has a toothache, is it me?’ On the other hand, ‘as object’ means any reference I make to myself on the basis of an objectifying perception or thought. For example, looking in the mirror and seeing a sunburned arm, I might say ‘I have a sunburn’. It’s possible that I see someone else’s arm in the mirror and mistake it for my own, and in that sense I would seem to be misidentifying myself.

Publication Title

Consciousness and Subjectivity

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