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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2012

Chapter 7 - Action and immunity to error through misidentification

Summary

The use we make of 'I' is not explained by the way in which it refers to an object. In this the first person contrasts sharply with other referring terms. There are deep connections between the way in which the reference of a term is fixed and the immunity to error though misidentification (IEM) of judgments containing that term. The first person operates on a quite different basis than a descriptive name. If the first person has a reference, it is specified by a simple rule, the token-reflexive rule: Any token of 'I' refers to whoever produced it. The aspect of the pattern of use of 'I' cannot be validated simply by appealing to the token-reflexive rule. In general, what happens ultimately is that we regard the pattern of use of 'I' as not standing in need of validation by an account of the nature of the self.