A Puzzle about Mental Self-Representation and Causation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The paper articulates a puzzle that consists in the prima facie incompatibility between three widely accepted theses. The first thesis is, roughly, that there are intrinsically self-representational thoughts. The second thesis is, roughly, that there is a particular causal constraint on mental representation. The third thesis is, roughly, that nothing causes itself. In this paper, the theses are articulated in a less rough manner with the occurrence of the puzzle as a result. Finally, a number of solution strategies are considered, and a preliminary diagnosis is provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)890-906
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Causation
  • Naturalism
  • Self-Reference
  • Self-Representation


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