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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 46, Issue 4, 2015

Garris S. Rogonyan
Pages 85-104

Asymmetry of the Radical Interpretation

This paper considers the problem of direct knowledge about oneself as a prerequisite of a self-consciousness. The explanation of the asymmetry between first and third person that is characteristic for such a knowledge could shed the light on the nature of self-consciousness as a natural phenomenon. The key to the problem is the asymmetry Donald Davidson proposed as the main feature of the process of interpretation. However, this solution is often either not fully appreciated or misunderstood as a kind of linguistic asymmetry. The paper argues that this asymmetry has a causal nature, and this is the first reason for irreducibility of our mentalist vocabulary and thereby for the necessary use of such concepts as self-consciousness.

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