Doc'In Nicod

Why cannot my I be your You ?

Matheus Valente (PhD student University of Barcelona / Visiting IJN)
Practical information
06 December 2019

ENS, Pavillon Jardin, Conference room, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris


Abstract :
Many seem to think that indexical thoughts are particularly hard to share or to communicate. The reasoning behind that impression often boils down to the claim that one’s self-thoughts cannot be identical to another’s you-thoughts - since the first is de se, the second, de te. This is particularly disappointing since, in suitable contexts, I-thoughts and you-thoughts can be witnesses to successful communications. Analogously, there is a sense according to which, in suitable contexts, for you to believe just what I believe by uttering a first-personal utterance is for you to assent to what, in your mouth, would be a second-personal utterance. It would thus be very desirable if, sometimes, I-thoughts and you-thoughts could be identified. In this talk I intend to confront several arguments against that possibility. The arguments include considerations about action motivation, cognitive value and the Lewisian relativistic framework of propositional attitudes.