The Other Within: A Second-Personal Paradox for Self-Knowledge


  • Manuel de Pinedo Departamento de Filosofía I, Universidad de Granda


Bensusan’s indexicalism; Levinas; Self-knowledge; Second-person; Love and Knowledge


In this paper, I explore some consequences of Hilan Bensusan’s arguments in favour of an indexicalist metaphysics and, in particular, of his discussions of the metaphysics of the others and of the paradoxical character of metaphysics. I suggest that, looking at the issue from an epistemological and moral perspective, the role that others play regarding our thought and, in particular, regarding our capacity for self-knowledge, opens up the possibility of embracing a paradoxical view of knowledge of oneself according to which I am, in some sense, at the same time an other to myself and not an other to myself. This paradox may be behind what sets apart self-knowledge from knowledge of what is external.


Bensusan, Hilan & Manuel de Pinedo (2007), “When my own beliefs are not first-personal enough”, Theoria 58: 35-41.

Borgoni, Cristina (2015), “Dissonance and doxastic resistance”, Erkenntnis 80 (5): 957-974.

Brea, Gerson & Hilan Bensusan (2006), “Ist meine eigene Weltanschuung third-personal enough?”, Papers of the 27th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchgerg, Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.

Crary, Alice (2018), “The methodological is political. What’s the matter with ‘analytic feminism’?”, Radical Philosophy 2.02.

Davidson, Donald (2004), Problems of Rationality: Philosophical Essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

McDowell, John (1981), “Non-cognitivism and rule-following”, in Mind, Value, and Reality, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1998, pp. 198-218.

McGeer, Victoria (2004), “Austistic self-awareness”, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 11 (2): 235-25.

Murdoch, Iris (1959), “The sublime and the good”, Chicago Review 13 (3): 42-55.

Murdoch, Iris (1961), “Against dryness”, in P. Conradi (ed.), Existentialists and Mystics, London, Penguin, 1999, pp. 287-95.

Murdoch, Iris (1962), “The idea of perfection”, in P. Conradi (ed.), Existentialists and Mystics, London, Penguin, 1999, pp. 299-336.

Pinedo, Manuel de (2004), “De la interpretación radical a la fusión de horizontes: la perspectiva de la segunda persona”, in J. J. Acero et al. (eds.), El legado de Gadamer, Granada, Universidad de Granada, pp. 225-235.

Roessler, Johannes (2003), “Intentional action and self-awareness’, in J. Roessler & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness, Oxford, Oxford University Press.




How to Cite

de Pinedo, M. (2021). The Other Within: A Second-Personal Paradox for Self-Knowledge. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(2), 111–123. Retrieved from



Conference Proceedings