Immunity to error as an artefact of transition between representational media

Jenann Ismael

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Introduction It is often claimed that there is a range of self-ascriptions that are immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun (IEM for short). Philosophical interest in IEM is usually traced to Wittgenstein's remarks in The Blue Book. He writes: It is possible that, say in an accident, I should feel a pain in my arm, see a broken arm at my side, and think it is mine, when really it is my neighbours… On the other hand, there is no question of recognising a person when I say I have toothache. To ask “are you sure that it is you who have pains?” would be nonsensical… And now this way of stating our idea suggests itself: that it is as impossible that in making the statement “I have a toothache” I should have mistaken another person for myself, as it is to moan with pain by mistake, having mistaken someone else for me. Shoemaker 1968 defines the susceptibility to error through misidentification thus, “to say that a statement ‘a is j’ is subject to error through misidentification relative to the term a means that the following is possible: the speaker knows some particular thing to be j, but makes the mistake of asserting ‘a is j’ because, and only because, he mistakenly thinks that the thing he knows to be j is what ‘a’ refers to.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationImmunity to Error Through Misidentification
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781139043274
ISBN (Print)9780521198301
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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