Volume 118, Issue 7, July 2021
Putting I-Thoughts to Work
A traditional view holds that the self-concept is essentially indexical. In a highly influential article, Ruth Millikan famously held that the self-concept should be understood as a Millian name with a sui generis functional role. This article presents a novel explanatory argument against the Millian view and in favor of the indexical view. The argument starts from a characterization of the self-concept as a device of information integration. It then shows that the indexical view yields a better explanation of the integration function than the Millian view. The resulting account can rebut Millikan’s objections and it has broader implications for the debate on the essential indexical.