‘The first issue for Wittgenstein in dealing with sensations was the issue of possession. "How do we know who owns particular sensations? This is also Edelman’s first move "only through direct possession by an individual of the appropriate morphology and experience do qualia [sensations that something is conscious of?] arise.
I do not, Wittgenstein points out, either possess or require behavioural or other criterial evidence to justify my utterance of first person, present tense psychological statements such as 'I have toothache', which involve the use of 'I' as subject.
It is a mistake to assume from this that 'I' used as subject refers to an immaterial ego or self seated in my body - on the contrary, Wittgenstein argues, the truth is that 'I' in its subject use is not a referring expression at all - it does not function as the name of anything.
Wittgenstein realised that if we examine carefully what we think we are refering to, when we refer to ourselves, ultimately we cannot find anything. The individual self is illusory.
Company School Botanical Art
4 months ago