Reflexivity, Fixed Points, and Semantic Descent; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Reflexivity

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

For most of the major philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, human cognition was understood as involving the mind's reflexive grasp of its own contents. But other important figures have described the very idea of a reflexive thought as incoherent. Ryle notably likened the idea of a reflexive thought to an arm that grasps itself. Recent work in philosophy, psychology, and the cognitive sciences has greatly clarified the special epistemic and semantic properties of reflexive thought. This article is an attempt to give an explicit characterization of the structure of reflexive thoughts that explains those properties and avoids the complaints of its critics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages16
JournalActa Analytica
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Lehrer
  • Model-theoretic argument
  • Reference-grounding
  • Reflexive thought
  • Self-representation
  • Semantic descent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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