, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 205–216

Pragmatic Reflexivity in Self-defeating and Self-justifying Expressions


DOI: 10.1007/s10503-007-9064-9

Cite this article as:
Morris, J. Argumentation (2008) 22: 205. doi:10.1007/s10503-007-9064-9


Self-defeating and self-justifying expressions are reflexive insofar as they pertain to themselves. However, the reflexivity involved is often pragmatic, i.e., does not entirely depend upon the logical properties of what is expressed but also upon the expressive act. In this paper I present a general account of pragmatic reflexivity and apply it to some familiar self-defeating and self-justifying expressions in epistemology. This application indicates some important, if often neglected features of the epistemological issues involved. The account I defend suggests that epistemology is particularly sensitive to pragmatic reflexivity since what epistemologists do, i.e., inquire, theorize, and defend theories, is also the subject of the inquiry and resultant theories.


Argumentation Epistemology Logic Reflexivity Self-defeating Self-justifying 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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