Immunity to error through misidentification and the epistemology of de se thought

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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to maintain that immunity to error through misidentification is a genuine and interesting property of certain de se judgments in the face of problem cases involving the possibility of “quasi-memories”: apparent memories that may derive from someone else’s past. The most promising existing proposals for how to achieve this aim are examined and rejected, and then a novel approach is offered which involves rejecting a presupposition of the debate so far, namely that the modality implicit in the notion of immunity is to be understood as metaphysical impossibility. The alternative proposal is that immunity to error is a robust kind of safety from error, in a sense familiar from recent debates on knowledge. The chapter argues that this allows space for the possibility of quasi-remembering, while acknowledging that immunity to error through misidentification is a significant epistemic property of certain de se thoughts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbout Oneself
Subtitle of host publicationDe Se Thought and Communication
EditorsManuel García-Carpintero, Stephan Torre
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter2
Pages25-55
ISBN (Electronic)9780191781711, 9780191022234
ISBN (Print)9780198713265
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • immunity to error
  • misidentification
  • de se thought
  • quasi-memory
  • wh-misidentification
  • safe belief
  • justification

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