Forthcoming Research Seminars and Lectures
21st February 2013: Rachael Wiseman (York) - Dreaming & Historical Psychological Statements
(10 July 2012)
Weekly Research Seminar
This seminar will be held in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. Refreshments will be served from 11am with the talk commencing at 11.30am.
Title: Dreaming & Historical Psychological Statements
If we treat the sentence ‘I dreamt X’ as a statement of a subject’s past mental state—of a kind with ‘I expected X’, ‘I meant X’, ‘I thought X’, etc.—then the phenomenon of dreaming poses a serious difficulty for accounts of first-person talk which have their roots in Wittgenstein’s later writings. Drawing on arguments from Malcolm’s Dreaming, I argue that, despite the fact that ‘I dreamt X’ has the surface form of a ‘historical psychological statement’, it is not one. ‘I dreamt X’ is more like ‘I expect X’ than ‘I expected X’; it is an expression of a current psychological state not a recollection of a past one.