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Sprache und der soziale Ort des Selbstbewusstseins

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Are persons rational because they are self-conscious or are they self-conscious because they are rational? Wittgenstein's remarks on the grammatical peculiarities of first-person expressions are not only a criticism of the conception of a Cartesian Ego but also give rise to systematical extensions which help to answer our question. The distinction between subject- and object-usage of ,,I” – which is made in the ,,Blue Book” – enables Wittgenstein to conceive of sentences like ,,I am in pain” as non-referential expressions. With this distinction, Wittgenstein criticizes the ontological commitment to an Ego which results from the referential usage of ,,I”. Nevertheless, Wittgenstein's distinction stands in need of an addition: We will distinguish an epistemic form of expression from a phenomenal form. On this basis, we can show that self-consciousness systematically builds on rationality – and not the other way around. Competent usage of epistemic-expressive I-sentences is antecedent to talking meaningfully of a self-conscious person. In turn, the competent usage of such sentences is embedded in a social structure. Self-consciousness has a social place.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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