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The Death of PhilosophyReference and Self-reference in Contemporary Thought$
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Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231147781

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231147781.001.0001

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The Model of Self-reference’s Consistency

The Model of Self-reference’s Consistency

(p.143) 6 The Model of Self-reference’s Consistency
The Death of Philosophy

Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

, Richard A. Lynch
Columbia University Press

This chapter evaluates the consistency of the reflexive a priori model that it proposes to challenge the thesis of the death of philosophy by trying to overcome the crisis engendered by the current “reflexive deficit.” To this end, the chapter systematically contrasts the model with the most contemporary theories of self-reference. The most fertile of the currently espoused models of self-reference is the one that Paul Ricoeur criticizes as a “doctrine of sui-reference,” which tends to reduce reference to self to a reference ad extra. This understanding of self-reference consists in reducing any self-referential statement, like “I speak,” to a referential statement, like “he speaks.” The chapter considers a requirement first for propositions relative to the concept of truth—applying to itself without self-contradiction—and demonstrates it on the basis of three examples: skepticism, Kantianism, and logical positivism. It also explores the theory of reflexivity in relation to Bertrand Russell’s prohibition against self-referential propositions. Finally, it discusses the similarities and differences between two attitudes toward self-referentiality: German idealism and logical positivism.

Keywords:   reflexive a priori, death of philosophy, reflexive deficit, self-reference, propositions, theory of reflexivity, Bertrand Russell, self-referentiality, German idealism, logical positivism

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