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Perlis on strong and weak self-reference -- a mirror reversal

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The kind of self-reference which Perlis (1997) characterizes as strong, as opposed to formal self-reference which he characterizes as weak, is actually already present in standard forms of formal self-reference. Even if formal self-reference is weak because it is delegated, there is no specific delegation of reference for self-referential sentences, and their ‘self’ part is strong enough. In particular, the structure of self-reference in Godel's sentence, with its application of a self-referential process to itself, provides a model of Perlis’ characterization of a self. This structure can also be interpreted visually, in a way relevant to self and consciousness, namely as self-recognition in a mirror.

Keywords: Godel sentence; Self-reference; diagonalization; mirror; self-recognition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Intelligent Systems, Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Publication date: May 1, 2000


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