Self and others in Wittgenstein and contemporary analytic philosophy
26th-28th March 2010
Mar 26, 2010 10:40 AM
Mar 28, 2010 10:40 AM
|Where||University of Southampton|
|Contact Name||Denis McManus|
|Add event to calendar||
Self and others in Wittgenstein and contemporary analytic philosophy, 26th-28th March 2010
Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, 26th-28th March 2010
Denis McManus and Daniel Whiting
- Anita Avramides (University of Oxford)
- Dorit Bar-on (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
- William Child (University of Oxford)
- David Finkelstein (University of Chicago)
- Jane Heal (University of Cambridge)
- Andrea Kern (University of Cottbus)
- Cynthia Macdonald (Queen’s University Belfast)
- Åsa Wikforss (University of Stockholm)
CALL FOR PAPERS
The conference will include four open sessions. If you would like to submit a paper on themes relating to the conference (see below) for consideration for presentation, please send it as an attachment, along with contact information, to email@example.com. Submission is open to all and graduate students are encouraged to submit. The organisers intend to publish the proceedings of the conference and accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in the collection.
The paper should be suitable for presentation in 30-40 minutes.
The deadline for submission is *Friday 11th December*.
That Wittgenstein’s work has important implications for our understanding of both self-knowledge and knowledge of others was recognized from the very beginning (for example, in Anscombe’s reflections on the first-person and the debate over criteria). However, while there has been much interesting work inspired by Wittgenstein concerning knowledge of others, it is in discussions of self-knowledge in particular that his work has figured prominently in recent analytic philosophy.
One reason why the ‘problem of other minds’ has to some extent receded from view might be that, as Fodor suggests, ‘[i]t’s gotten hard to believe that there is a special problem about the knowledge of other minds (as opposed to knowledge of anything elses)’ (in A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, ed. S. Guttenplan. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994, p. 292). But recent Wittgensteinian reflection on self-knowledge doesn’t encourage that thought, in that it proceeds in part by pointing out the special character of self-knowledge (as opposed to ‘knowledge of anything elses’). If, as certain accounts that take their lead from Wittgenstein would have it, the attribution of a mental state to oneself is not based on observation of that state but is constitutive of it, for example, or a commitment to it, or an expression of it, what would another person have to do in order to know what one knows about oneself in one of these distinctive ways? For that matter, much work on knowledge of others inspired by Wittgenstein is likewise at pains to stress its special character. If, as certain accounts would have it, knowledge of others is not based on inference from observable evidence, let alone the bringing to bear of a theory, but involves imaginatively engaging with another’s point of view, for example, or direct perception, or some kind of ‘acknowledgement’, what significance does that have for knowing one’s own mind?
Guided by the thought that models of knowledge of other minds and models of self-knowledge stand and fall together, this conference aims to explore and assess Wittgensteinian perspectives on both forms of knowledge and reflect on how such perspectives relate to one another. In doing so, it would hope to shed light on the nature of the objects of this knowledge—the mental and the self.