Self-reference is a phenomenon in natural or formal languages consisting of a sentence or formula referring to itself directly, or through some intermediate sentence or formula, or by means of some encoding. In the Philosophy of language, a natural language (or ordinary language) is a Language that is spoken or written in phonemic-alphabetic or phonemically-related A formal language is a set of words, ie finite strings of letters, or symbols. In Linguistics, a sentence is a grammatical unit of one or more words bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it often preceded and followed In Mathematics and in the Sciences a formula (plural formulae, formulæ or formulas) is a concise way of expressing information A semantics encoding is a "translation" between Formal languages For programmers the most familiar form of encoding is the compilation of a programming language In philosophy, it also refers to the ability of a subject to speak of or refer to himself, herself, or itself: to have the kind of thought expressed in English by the word "I". Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language I (aɪ is the first-person, singular Personal pronoun ( subject case) in Modern English.
Self-reference is possible when there are two logical levels, a level and a meta-level. It is most commonly used in mathematics, philosophy, computer programming, and linguistics. Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Linguistics is the scientific study of Language, encompassing a number of sub-fields Self-referential statements can lead to paradoxes (but see Antinomy for limits on the significance of these). A paradox is a true statement or group of statements that leads to a Contradiction or a situation which defies intuition; or inversely Antinomia redirects here For the Brachiopod Genus, see Antinomia (brachiopod.
An example of a self-referential situation is the one of autopoiesis, as the logical organization produces itself the physical structure which creates itself. Autopoiesis literally means "auto (self-creation" (from the Greek: auto αυτό for self- and poiesis ποίησις for creation or production
In metaphysics, self-reference is subjectivity, while "hetero-reference", as it is called (see Niklas Luhmann), is objectivity. Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science Subjectivity refers to a subject's perspective particularly feelings beliefs and desires Niklas Luhmann ( December 8, 1927 - November 6, 1998) was a German Sociologist, administration expert and a prominent
Self-reference also occurs in literature when an author refers to his work in the context of the work itself. Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter Famous examples include Cervantes's Don Quixote, Denis Diderot's Jacques le fataliste et son maître, Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler, many stories by Nikolai Gogol, Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth, and Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ( in modern Spanish; September 29, 1547 &ndash April 22, 1616) was a Spanish Novelist es '''''Don Quixote''''' (, see spelling and pronunciation below fully titled es '''''El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha''''' ("The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Denis Diderot ( October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784) was a French Philosopher and writer Jacques the Fatalist and his Master (Jacques le fataliste et son maître is a Novel by Denis Diderot, written in the late 1760s—1778 and published in Italo Calvino ( October 15, 1923 &ndash September 19, 1985) (ˈiːtalo kalˈviːno was an Italian journalist and writer of short If on a winter's night a traveler ( Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore) is a Novel published in 1979 by Italo Calvino. Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol;; Микола Васильович Гоголь Lost in the Funhouse is a collection of loosely connected Short stories that was originally published by John Barth in 1968. John Simmons Barth (born May 27 1930 is an American novelist and short-story writer known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work Luigi Pirandello ( June 28, 1867 — December 10, 1936) was an Italian Dramatist Novelist, and short Six Characters in Search of an Author ( Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore) is the most famous and celebrated play by the Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. This is closely related to the concepts of breaking the fourth wall and meta-reference, which often involve self-reference. The fourth wall is the imaginary wall at the front of the stage in a Proscenium Theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play Meta-reference, a Meta-fiction technique is a situation in a work of fiction whereby Fictional characters display an awareness that they are in such a work such
The surrealistic painter René Magritte is famous for his self-referential works. Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early-1920s and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members René François Ghislain Magritte ( 21 November 1898 - 15 August 1967) was a Belgian Surrealist artist
His painting The Treachery of Images, shown at right, includes words claiming, in French, it is not a pipe, the truth of which depend entirely on what the word "ceci" (in English, "this") is taken to refer to. The Treachery of Images ( La trahison des images 1928&ndash29 is a series of paintings by Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte Is it the pipe depicted—or is it the painting, or even the sentence itself?
Self-reference is also employed in tautology and in licensed terminology. In Rhetoric, a tautology is an unnecessary (and usually unintentional repetition of meaning using different words that effectively say the same thing twice (often originally When a word defines itself (e. g. , "Machine: any objects put together mechanically"), the result is a tautology. Such self-references can be quite complex, include full propositions rather than simple words, and produce arguments and terms that require license (accepting them as proof of themselves).
Self-reference in computer science is seen in the concept of recursion, where a program unit relies on instances of itself to perform a computation. Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the Science of the theoretical foundations of Information and Computation and their Recursion, in Mathematics and Computer science, is a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition The Lisp programming language is especially designed to exploit recursion. Lisp (or LISP) is a family of Computer Programming languages with a long history and a distinctive fully parenthesized syntax Many object oriented languages use special keywords to refer to the current instance of an object:
this in C++, Java, and PHP;
self in Smalltalk and Objective C; and
Me in Visual Basic, although some, like Python, do this differently. In many Object-oriented Programming languages, this (or self) is a keyword which can be used in Instance methods to refer to the object on which C++ (" C Plus Plus " ˌsiːˌplʌsˈplʌs is a general-purpose Programming language. PHP is a computer Scripting language. Originally designed for producing Dynamic web pages it has evolved to include a Command line interface capability Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. Objective-C is a reflective, object-oriented Programming language which adds Smalltalk -style messaging to C. Visual Basic ( VB) is the third-generation event-driven programming language and associated development environment (IDE from Python is a general-purpose High-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes programmer productivity and code readability
Many of the following examples appear in Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid Metamagical Themas, or I Am a Strange Loop. Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15 1945 in New York New York) is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness thinking and creativity Gödel Escher Bach an Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) is a Pulitzer Prize -winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, described Metamagical Themas is an eclectic collection of articles written for Scientific American during the early 1980s by Douglas Hofstadter, and published I Am a Strange Loop is a 2007 book by Douglas Hofstadter, examining in depth the concept of a Strange loop originally developed in his 1979
Fumblerules state rules of good grammar and writing through sentences that violate those very rules. Part of the Foundations of mathematics, Russell's paradox (also known as Russell's antinomy) discovered by Bertrand Russell in 1901 showed that the Fumblerules are humorous Rules for Writing, collected from teachers of English grammar George L. Trigg and William Safire have made their own lists, but anyone knowledgeable on grammar can do the same.