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Understanding I – Language and Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Understanding I: Language and Thought

José Luis Bermúdez


Understanding “I”: Thought and Language develops a model of how language-users understand sentences involving the first person pronoun “I.” This model illuminates the unique psychological role that self-conscious thoughts (typically expressed using “I”) play in action and cognition—a unique role often summarized by describing “I” as an essential indexical. The author motivates a broadly Fregean account of linguistic understanding and develops an account of the sense of “I” within that framework. This account explains a cluster of related phenomena, including essential indexicality, immunity to ... More

Keywords: first person pronoun, self-reference, self-consciousness, essential indexical, Gottlob Frege, sense, Gareth Evans, immunity to error through misidentification, autobiographical memory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198796213
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198796213.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

José Luis Bermúdez, author
Texas A&M University