- 271 Downloads
It is widely held that introspection-based self-ascriptions of mental states are immune to error through misidentification (IEM), relative to the first person pronoun. Many have taken such errors to be logically impossible, arguing that the immunity holds as an “absolute” necessity. Here I discuss an actual case of craniopagus twins—twins conjoined at the head and brain—as a means to arguing that such errors are logically possible and, for all we know, nomologically possible. An important feature of the example is that it is one where a person may be said to be introspectively aware of a mental state that occurs outside of her own mind. Implications are discussed for views of the relation between introspection and mental state ownership, and between introspection and epistemic criteria for the “mark of the mental.”
KeywordsIntrospection Immunity to error Self-knowledge IEM
Versions of this paper were presented at the Fifth Consciousness Online conference and at the 2013 meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Special thanks to Richard Brown, Max Seeger, Elizabeth Schechter, Annalisa Coliva, John Schwenkler, Joel Smith, and Serife Tekin for their valuable criticisms and suggestions.
- Armstrong, D. (1968). A materialist theory of mind. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Coliva, A. (2012). Which ‘key to all mythologies’ about the self? A note on where the illusions of transcendence come from and how to resist them. In S. Prosser & F. Recanati (Eds.), Immunity to error through misidentification (pp. 22–45). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dominus, S. (2011). Could conjoined twins share a mind? The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/magazine/could-conjoined-twins-share-a-mind.html. Accessed 4 April 2013.
- Evans, G. (1982). The varieties of reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hurlburt, R. T., & Schwitzgebel, E. (2007). Describing inner experience? Proponent meets skeptic. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Lane, T., & Liang, C. (2011). Self-consciousness and immunity. The Journal of Philosophy, 108(2), 78–99.Google Scholar
- Lycan, W. (1996). Consciousness and experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Parfit, D. (1984). Reasons and persons. Oxford, Oxfordshire: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Rosenthal, D. (2005). Consciousness and mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Rosenthal, D. (2012). Awareness and identification of self. In J. Liu & J. Perry (Eds.), Consciousness and the self: New essays (pp. 22–50). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Ryan, D. (2014). Through her sister's eyes: Conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista were extraordinary from the beginning. The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 24, 2014, from http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Through+sister+eyes+Conjoined+twins+Tatiana+Krista+were+extraordinary+from+beginning/7449226/story.html.
- Wittgenstein, L. (1969). The blue and brown books. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Wright, C. (1998). Self-knowledge: The Wittgensteinian legacy. In C. Wright, B. C. Smith, & C. MacDonald (Eds.), Knowing our own minds (pp. 13–45). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar