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[Related Event] The 54th meeting of Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy

18:00-20:00, Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Room 710, Bld 14, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

Department of History and Philosophy of Science will hold the 54th Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy. Everyone is welcome.

Date & Time: 3rd March (Tuesday), 2015, 18:00-20:00
Venue: the 14th Building, Room 710 on the 7th floor, Komaba Campus

Presenter: Rasmus Thybo Jensen(University of Tokyo)
Title:"The lived Body and Immunity to Error through Misidentification"

In a recent paper Shaun Gallagher discusses a certain thought experiment that presents a putative counterexample to the idea that proprioceptively based judgements about the position of one’s own limbs display immunity to error relative to the first person pronoun (IEM) (2012, “First-Person Perspective and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification”, in Miguens & Preyer (eds.) Consciouness and Subjectivity, Ontos). Gallagher takes the thought experiment to demonstrate that such proprioceptively based judgements merely display what he calls de facto IEM. He accepts that under certain extraordinary circumstances proprioceptive judgements such as “My legs are crossed” are subject to error through misidentification relative to “my”. I argue that with this acceptance it becomes next to impossible to avoid that Gallagher’s local conclusion generalizes with the effect that the IEM isn’t even de facto present in ordinary cases. In his Varieties of Reference (1982) Evans argued recognition of the fact that there are ways of knowing about our own physical body that gives rise to such immunity to error provides, according to Evans, “the most powerful antidote to a Cartesian conception of the self” (Evans 1982, p. 222). Gallagher might avoid the basic problem that Evans’s points to by insisting that lived body is, under normal circumstances, simply identical to one’s physical body. However, his position will inherit the epistemological predicament of the Cartesian position. Gallagher will be forced to deny that a proprioceptive experience can, simply by virtue of its intrinsic features, non-inferentially entitle a subject to make judgements about the position of her limbs. Either such knowledge will be inferential or we will need to adopt some version of an externalist conception of justification. I end by introducing an alternative disjunctive response to the thought experiment. The disjunctive proposal allows us dismiss the putative counterexample and hold on to the idea that proprioceptive experience can put the subject in position to non-inferentially know the position of her limbs.

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