First person philosophy

Modern philosophy of mind: prospects for development


  • Vincent Descombes


philosophy of the first person, philosophy of mind, subject, introjection


The report is devoted to the problem of psychological propositions in the first person singular, in which the philosophy of Mind sees evidence of the existence of the subject, Self, Ego, which the speaker, speaking of himself, denotes by the pronoun « I ». Commenting keywords on the texts of Locke, Leibniz, Descartes and James, the speaker reconstructs the theses of the philosophy of Mind and demonstrates its paradoxes. Using the achievements of the linguistic turn in the phi- losophy of mind, in particular, the grammatical reflections of L. Wittgenstein and E. Enscomb, Descombes detects the assumption of a paradox of reflection, the rejection of which leads to its disappearance: the infallibility of psychological utterances in the first person singular is explained not by the cognitive contact of the subject with himself, but by the fact that there is no one who could be wrong, because « I » does not call anyone, « I » is not a name.

Author Biography

Vincent Descombes

Professor Emeritus, School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (Paris)



Wittgenstein, L. (1995). Philosophical investigations. In: L. Wittgenstein. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. Philosophical investigations (Transl. Ye. Popovych). Kyiv: Osnovy, 87–310.

Descombes, V. (2002). Wittgenstein face au paradoxe de Moore. In: Wittgenstein, Dernières pensées. Sous la dir. de J. Bouveresse, Sandra Laugier, J.J. Rosat. Marseille: Agone. Pp. 207– 235.

Locke, J. (1694). An Essay concerning Human Understanding. 2nd édition. Leibniz, G. (1714). Les Principes de la nature et de la grâce.

Wittgenstein, L. (1958). The Blue Book. Blackwell.

James, W. (1981). The Principles of Psychology [1890]. Harvard University Press. Descartes, R. Principes de la philosophie.

Wittgenstein, L. (1958). The Blue Book. Blackwell.

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How to Cite

Descombes, V. (2021). First person philosophy: Modern philosophy of mind: prospects for development. Filosofska Dumka, (6), 16–26. Retrieved from