Abstract

Abstract:

Philosophers in the Western and Eastern traditions have been concerned with the question: What, if anything, does the term ‘I’ refer to? This article investigates reasons offered for a negative answer to this question. Western philosophers argue that the descriptive content associated with the term ‘I’ is too minimal to support reference to a reidentifiable particular. Classical Buddhists in the Indian tradition offer a novel reason for why the term lacks a reference. The term ‘I’ does not have a referent not because it is unmediated by representations but because the representations (in the Buddhist case the exclusions) associated with the term ‘I’ systematically misrepresent or mis-describe the object it supposedly refers to. There are no reidentifiable particulars.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 38-56
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-08
Open Access
No
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