Universiteit van Amsterdam


Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

11 May 2017, Spinoza Lectures, Béatrice Longuenesse

Speaker: Béatrice Longuenesse
Title: Perplexing 'I'
Date: Thursday 11 May 2017
Time: 20:15-22:00
Location: Aula, Oude Lutherse kerk, Singel 411, Amsterdam


Some philosophers have argued that using ‘I’ is the source of illusions, for instance the illusion that I am the author of my actions and thoughts rather than thoughts and actions happening to me, or in me. Lichtenberg maintained that “we should say ‘it thinks’ or ‘there is thinking going on’ rather than ‘I think’.” In the same vein, Nietzsche urged that “a thought comes when it wills, not when I will.” And nevertheless, using ‘I’ seems to be an indispensible tool for each individual person to refer to herself. What do our uses of ‘I’ reveal about our relations to ourselves, to others, and to the world?