Richard Moran’s Authority and Estrangement develops a compelling explanation of the characteristic features of self-knowledge that involve the use of ‘I’ as subject. Such knowledge is immediate in the sense of non-inferential, is not evidentially grounded and is epistemically authoritative.1 A&E develops its distinctive explanation while also offering accounts of other features of self-knowledge that are often overlooked, such as the centrality of self-knowledge characterised in this way to the concept of the person and its ethical importance. Moran recognises that (...) were an agent to lack the capacity authoritatively to avow his or her own state of mind this would be an ethically damaging defect. Moran’s treatment of these issues is subtle and in places profoundly insightful. I will argue, however, that there is a loose fit between two separate explanations that he gives of self-knowledge. On the one hand Moran argues that the best explanation of self-. (shrink)
Neo-expressivism is the view that avowals—first-personal, present tense self-ascriptions of mental states—ordinarily express the very mental states that they semantically represent, such that they carry a strong presumption of truth and are immune to requests for epistemic support. Peter Langland-Hassan (2015. “Self-Knowledge and Imagination.” Philosophical Explorations 18 (2): 226–245) has argued that Neo-expressivism cannot accommodate avowals of one’s imaginings. In this short paper I argue that Neo-expressivism can, in fact, accommodate them.
Is self-knowledge a requirement of rationality, like consistency, or means-ends coherence? Many claim so, citing the evident impropriety of asserting, and the alleged irrationality of believing, Moore-paradoxical propositions of the form < p, but I don't believe that p>. If there were nothing irrational about failing to know one's own beliefs, they claim, then there would be nothing irrational about Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs. This article considers a few ways the data surrounding Moore's paradox might be marshaled to support rational (...) requirements to know one's beliefs, and finds that none succeed. (shrink)
What happens when we are uncertain about what we want, feel or whish for? How should we understand uncertainty in introspection? This paper reconstructs and critically assess two answers to this question frequently found in the secondary literature on Wittgenstein: indecision and self-deception (Hacker 1990, 2012; Glock 1995, 1996). Such approaches seek to explain uncertainty in introspection in a way which is completely distinct from uncertainty about the ‘outer world’. I argue that in doing so these readings fail to account (...) for the substantial role the intellect seems to play in the process of resolving such uncertainties. I then attempt to show that Wittgenstein’s remarks connecting psychological vocabulary, behaviour and public criteria (e. g. PI 2009: 580) provide alternative ways for thinking about uncertainty in introspection which allow for a substantial role of the intellect. (shrink)
Donald Davidson famously offered an explanation of “first-person authority”. However, he described first-person authority differently across different works—sometimes referring to the presumptive truth of agents’ self-ascriptions of their current mental states, and sometimes referring to the direct self-knowledge that agents often have of said states. First, I show that a standard Davidsonian explanation of first-person authority can at best, and with some modification, explain the presumptive truth of agents’ self-ascriptions. I then develop two Davidsonian accounts of direct self-knowledge—one accounting for (...) its function and another accounting for its source—pushing back in the process against deflationary and quietist rejoinders to these projects. Finally, I relate my Davidsonian accounts of direct self-knowledge back to the modified Davidsonian account of the presumptive truth of agents’ self-ascriptions. (shrink)
'Pi' in mathematics is the technical term for 'mind' in philosophy. This creates Intelligent anarchy. Or, in more conventional 'language' the whole idea that there is only 'one' person in, what humans label, 'the universe.' This means, technically, then, there are always 'two' people in any 'universe.' Where all of these terms (words) are meaningless, because the conservation of a circle controls, again, what humans label, 'reality.' (Self, anti-self, other-self, relative self.) Again, meaning, every human (any unit) (in any discipline) (...) (including, and, especially, language) is the same human, automatically, in its own 'universe.' Intelligent. Anarchist. (Circular-linear relationship between any X and-or X) (X and-or Y) (X and-or X'). (shrink)
Eli Alshanetsky considers how we make our thoughts clear to ourselves in the process of putting them into words and examines the paradox of those difficult cases where we do not already know what we are struggling to articulate.
So-called basic self-knowledge (ordinary knowledge of one's present states of mind) can be seen as both 'baseless' and privileged. The spontaneous self-beliefs we have when we avow our states of mind do not appear to be formed on any particular epistemic basis (whether intro-or extro-spective). Nonetheless, on some views, these self-beliefs constitute instances of (privileged) knowledge. We are here interested in views on which true mental self-beliefs have internalist epistemic warrant that false ones lack. Such views are committed to a (...) form of disjunctivism about basic self-knowledge. We begin by presenting an influential disjunctivist view about perceptual knowledge (Pritchard 2008, 2012, and elsewhere) and articulate a problem for it. We then consider two versions of disjunctivism about basic self-knowledge – one 'constitutivist', the other 'neo-expressivist' – and argue that both can avoid an analogue of this problem for self-knowledge. However, we give reasons for preferring the disjunctivism yielded by neo-expressivism. We conclude by considering briefly whether an acceptable disjunctivism about mental self-beliefs can point the way toward a sensible disjunctivism about perceptual beliefs. (shrink)
‘How, then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing about people, sealed as they were?’ So asks Lily Briscoe in To the Lighthouse. It is this question, rather than any concern about pretence or deception, which forms the basis for the philosophical problem of other minds. Responses to this problem have tended to cluster around two solutions: either we know others’ minds through perception; or we know others’ minds through a form of inference. In the (...) first part of this paper I argue that this debate is best understood as concerning the question of whether our knowledge of others’ minds is based on perception or based on evidence. In the second part of the paper I suggest that our ordinary ways of thinking take our knowledge of others’ minds to be both non- evidential and non-perceptual. A satisfactory resolution to the philosophical problem of other minds thus requires us to take seriously the idea that we have a way of knowing about others’ minds which is both non-evidential and non-perceptual. I suggest that our knowledge of others’ minds which is based on their expressions – our expressive knowledge - may fit this bill. (shrink)
You know what someone else is thinking and feeling by observing them. But how do you know what you are thinking and feeling? This is the problem of self-knowledge: Alex Byrne tries to solve it. The idea is that you know this not by taking a special kind of look at your own mind, but by an inference from a premise about your environment.
In the following text we would like to present the philosophical discussion on untrusting lies, which introduces a space for innocent lie understood as figurative manipulation of the speech: a poetic trope that we would argue could not only be generously used to help us tolerating our sometime deceiving human condition—which is global and universally ours, that of the finitude of human capacity of knowledge and ethical action—but also to maximise our capacity for knowledge formation and adaptation to values. Concepts (...) formation and communication relates to a collective interplay of different interiorized images, before it comes to the exterior in some well-chosen expressions, in self-mastered way; their origin remain in a mentally latent process of selection of content and ideas, as possible solutions of in a games of compatible propositions. These unconscious materials of our life relies on our capacity to identify and quickly switch between different spans, that enable us to focus on complex sets data, all depending very much on figurative manipulations, that should not be confounded with blameworthy and misleading representations. (shrink)
У статті з’ясовано проблему контекстної логіко-інтелектуальної експресивності та входження її до сфери категорії регулятивності. Із цією метою експресивність проаналізовано у двох її виявах – інгерентному та адгерентному. Доведено, що адгерентні експресивні засоби – стилістичні прийоми – беруть активну участь у регулюванні читацької діяльності. Продемонстровано інклюзивні відношення між експресемами та регулятемами, окреслено ядерно-периферійний ресурс регулятивних засобів.
This book on the topic of ethics and poetry consists of contributions from different continents on the subject of applied ethics related to poetry. It should gather a favourable reception from philosophers, ethicists, theologians and anthropologists from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and allows for a comparison of the healing power of words from various religious, spiritual and philosophical traditions. The first part of this book presents original poems that express ethical emotions and aphorism related to a philosophical questioning (...) of the grounding of our values for life. The poems are written by twelve authors coming from four continents, for whom poetic emotions are sources of artistic inspiration and that can be used for conflict resolution. In the second part, which features short essays, nine authors tackle how poems, symbolic representations, metaphorical narratives and lies impact the space of possibilities, in which we are moved to action, knowledge formation, and how we imagine the world together. (shrink)
Our question, in this paper, is about the plausibility of the expressivist account of one’s self- attribution of mental states. More to the point, we will strictly follow the principle of charity as a mean to show that an expressivist philosopher can have good and reasonable answers to the set of objections put together in so called “Geach’s point”. Using this method, we hope to give enough evidences that an expressivist philosopher has enough resources to build a plausible explanation for (...) one’s attribution of mental states to herself. (shrink)
This study examines the relation of language use to a person’s ability to perform categorization tasks and to assess their own abilities in those categorization tasks. A silent rhyming task was used to confirm that a group of people with post-stroke aphasia (PWA) had corresponding covert language production (or “inner speech”) impairments. The performance of the PWA was then compared to that of age- and education-matched healthy controls on three kinds of categorization tasks and on metacognitive self-assessments of their performance (...) on those tasks. The PWA showed no deficits in their ability to categorize objects for any of the three trial types (visual, thematic, and categorial). However, on the categorial trials, their metacognitive assessments of whether they had categorized correctly were less reliable than those of the control group. The categorial trials were distinguished from the others by the fact that the categorization could not be based on some immediately perceptible feature or on the objects’ being found together in a type of scenario or setting. This result offers preliminary evidence for a link between covert language use and a specific form of metacognition. (shrink)
_Self-Reflection for the Opaque Mind_ attempts to solve a grave problem about critical self-reflection. Psychological studies indicate not just that we are bad at detecting our own "ego-threatening" thoughts; they also suggest that we are ignorant of even our ordinary thoughts. However, self-reflection presupposes an ability to know one’s own thoughts. So if ignorance is the norm, why attempt self-reflection? While admitting the psychological data, this book argues that we are infallible in a limited range of self-discerning judgments—that in some (...) cases, these judgments are self-fulfilling or self-verifying. Even so, infallibility does not imply indubitability, and the author does not wish to provide a "foundation" for empirical knowledge. The point is rather to explain how self-reflection as a rational activity is possible. The book will be of interest to scholars working on the issue of self-reflection across a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
How do we know when we have imagined something? How do we distinguish our imaginings from other kinds of mental states we might have? These questions present serious, if often overlooked, challenges for theories of introspection and self-knowledge. This paper looks specifically at the difficulties imagination creates for Neo-Expressivist, outward-looking, and inner sense theories of self-knowledge. A path forward is then charted, by considering the connection between the kinds of situations in which we can reliably say that another person is (...) imagining, and those in which we can say the same about ourselves. This view is a variation on the outward-looking approach, and preserves much of the spirit of Neo-Expressivism. (shrink)
Ordinarily when someone tells us something about her beliefs, desires or intentions, we presume she is right. According to standard views, this deferential trust is justified on the basis of certain epistemic properties of her assertion. In this paper, I offer a non-epistemic account of deference. I first motivate the account by noting two asymmetries between the kind of deference we show psychological self-ascriptions and the kind we grant to epistemic experts more generally. I then propose a novel agency-based account (...) of deference. Drawing on recent work on self-knowledge, I argue that a person normally has a distinctive type of cognitive agency; specifically she is able to constitute her psychological attitudes by making judgments about what they ought to be. I then argue that a speaker expresses this agentive authority when she self-ascribes a psychological attitude and this is what justifies deferentially trusting what she says. Because the notion of expression plays a central role in this account, I contrast it with recent neo-expressivist theories. (shrink)
It is a common intuition that I am in a better position to know my own mental states than someone else's. One view that takes this intuition very seriously is Neo-Expressivism, providing a “non-epistemic” account of first-person privilege. But some have denied that we enjoy any principled first-person privilege, as do those who have the Third-Person View, according to which there is no deep difference in our epistemic position with regard to our own and others' mental states. Despite their apparently (...) deep differences, I argue that Neo-Expressivism and the Third-Person View differ in their location of first-person privilege. This difference in the source of first-person privilege allows the key elements of each of these views to be compatible, and can even be combined into a single view about the nature of introspection and self-knowledge. The compatibility of these two views that otherwise appear to be in direct opposition is methodologically significant, highlighting several dialectical lessons that clar.. (shrink)
Robert Dunn, David Finkelstein and Richard Moran have recently contributed to broadening the debate on self-knowledge within the analytic tradition. They raise questions concerning the sort of awareness that may have a healing effect in psychoanalytic therapy, and enhance the relevance to self-knowledge of a deliberative, and practically committed, attitude toward oneself. They reject, however, that self-observation could play a significant role in a strictly first-person attitude toward oneself, since they conceive of it as essentially detached and, in this respect, (...) similar to the kind of attitude that a third party might adopt. I will appeal to Simone Weil's distinction between two sorts obedience and to the contrast between two characters in *The Karamazov Brothers* to elucidate a kind of self-awareness that involves a kind of observation that is constitutively committed. This line of reasoning will also serve to elucidate a fundamental sort of self-knowledge that derives from the subject's capacity to acknowledge her own position within the ethical world and is closely associated to the goal of psychoanalytic therapy. (shrink)
This is a contribution to a book symposium on Joelle Proust’s The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness (OUP). While there is much to admire in Proust’s book, the legitimacy of her distinction between “procedural” and “analytic” metacognition can be questioned. Doing so may help us better understand the relevance of animal metacognition studies to human self-knowledge.
In this article I want to alert investigators who are familiar only with our neuropsychological investigations of self-knowledge to our earlier work on model construction. A familiarity with this foundational research can help avert concerns and issues likely to arise if one is aware only of neuropsychological extensions of our work.
This paper examines theories of first person authority proposed by Dorit Bar-On (2004), Crispin Wright (1989a) and Sydney Shoemaker (1988). What all three accounts have in common is that they attempt to explain first person authority by reference to the way our language works. Bar-On claims that in our language self-ascriptions of mental states are regarded as expressive of those states; Wright says that in our language such self-ascriptions are treated as true by default; and Shoemaker suggests that they might (...) arise from our capacity to avoid Moore-paradoxical utterances. I argue that Bar-On’s expressivism and Wright’s constitutive theory suffer from a similar problem: They fail to explain how it is possible for us to instantiate the language structures that supposedly bring about first person authority. Shoemaker’s account does not suffer from this problem. But it is unclear whether the capacity to avoid Moore-paradoxical utterances really yields self-knowledge. Also, it might be that self-knowledge explains why we have this capacity rather than vice versa. (shrink)
According to expressivism about avowals, the meaning of typical self-ascriptions of mental states is a matter of expressing an attitude, rather than describing a state of affairs. Traditionally, expressivism has been glossed as the view that, qua expressions, avowals are not truth-evaluable. Contemporary neoexpressivists like Finkelstein and Bar-On have argued that avowals are expressions, and truth-evaluable besides . In contrast, this paper provides a defence of the view that avowals are, qua expressions, truth-evaluable. This defence is based on an argument (...) from disagreement, to the effect that an adequate explanation of the existence of disagreement involving both cases of avowals and cases of nonlinguistic expression (like winces) supports a view according to which genuine (sincere, truthful) expression is what truth amounts to in avowals. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
“Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criticize her self-ascription or (...) to reject it on the basis of our contrary judgement. Furthermore, unlike ordinary empirical reports, and somewhat like apriori statements, avowals are issued with a very high degree of confidence and are not easily subjected to doubt. (3) The project of this ambitious, original, and challenging book is to explain why avowals have this distinctive security. Bar-On’s guiding idea is that avowals “can be seen as pieces of expressive behavior, similar in certain ways to bits of behavior that naturally express subjects’ states” (227). Crying and moaning are natural expressions of pain, yawning is a natural expression of tiredness, reaching for beer is a natural expression of the desire for beer, and so on. In some important sense, avowals are supposed to be like that. In what sense, though? It will be useful to begin with the simplest answer. (shrink)
In the first part of this essay (Sections I and II), I argue that Kierkegaard's work helps us to articulate and defend two basic requirements on searching for knowledge of one's own judgements: first, that searching for knowledge whether one judges that P requires trying to make a judgement whether P; and second that, in an important range of cases, searching for knowledge of one's own judgements requires attending to how one's acts of judging are performed. In the second part (...) of the essay (Sections III and IV), I consider two prima facie problems regarding this conception of searching for knowledge of one's own judgements. The first problem concerns how in general one can coherently try to meet both these requirements at once; the second, how in particular one can try to attend to one's own acts of judging. I show how Kierkegaard's work is alive to both these problems, and helps us to see how they can be resolved. (shrink)
In my reply to Boyle, Rosenthal, and Tumulty, I revisit my view of avowals’ security as a matter of a special immunity to error, their character as intentional expressive acts that employ self-ascriptive vehicles (without being grounded in self-beliefs), Moore’s paradox, the idea of expressing as contrasting with reporting and its connection to showing one’s mental state, and the ‘performance equivalence’ between avowals and other expressive acts.
In my reply to Boyle, Rosenthal, and Tumulty, I revisit my view of avowals’ security as a matter of a special immunity to error, their character as intentional expressive acts that employ self-ascriptive vehicles, Moore’s paradox, the idea of expressing as contrasting with reporting and its connection to showing one’s mental state, and the ‘performance equivalence’ between avowals and other expressive acts.
I critically discuss the account of self-knowledge presented in Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind (OUP 2004), focusing on Bar-On’s understanding of what makes our capacity for self-knowledge puzzling and on her ‘neo-expressivist’ solution to the puzzle. I argue that there is an important aspect of the problem of self-knowledge that Bar-On’s account does not sufficiently address. A satisfying account of self-knowledge must explain not merely how we are able to make accurate avowals about our own present mental states, but how (...) we can reasonably regard ourselves as entitled to claim self-knowledge. Addressing this aspect of the problem of self-knowledge requires confronting questions about the metaphysical nature of mental states, questions that Bar-On’s approach seeks to avoid. (shrink)
Among recent theories of the nature of self-knowledge, the rationalistic view, according to which self-knowledge is not a cognitive achievement—perceptual or inferential—has been prominent. Upon this kind of view, however, self-knowledge becomes a bit of a mystery. Although the rationalistic conception is defended in this article, it is argued that it has to be supplemented by an account of the transparency of belief: the question whether to believe that P is settled when one asks oneself whether P.
The problem of self-knowledge is one of the most fascinating in all of philosophy and has crucial significance for the philosophy of mind and epistemology. Gertler assesses the leading theoretical approaches to self-knowledge, explaining the work of many of the key figures in the field: from Descartes and Kant, through to Bertrand Russell and Gareth Evans, as well as recent work by Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, William Lycan and Sydney Shoemaker. -/- Beginning with an outline of the distinction between self-knowledge (...) and self-awareness and providing essential historical background to the problem, Gertler addresses specific theories of self-knowledge such as the acquaintance theory, the inner sense theory, and the rationalist theory, as well as leading accounts of self-awareness. The book concludes with a critical explication of the dispute between empiricist and rationalist approaches. (shrink)
What I call “Rorty’s Dilemma” has us caught between the Scylla of Cartesian Dualism and the Charybdis of eliminativism about the mental. Proper recognition of what is distinctively mental requires accommodating incorrigibility about our mental states, something Rorty thinks materialists cannot do. So we must either countenance mental states over and above physical states in our ontology, or else give up altogether on the mental as a distinct category. In section 2, “Materialist Introspectionism—Independence and Epistemic Authority”, I review reasons for (...) being dissatisfied with materialist introspectionism as a way out of the dilemma. In section 3, “Constitutivism”, I outline two constitutivist alternatives to materialist introspectionism. In section 4, “A Neo-Expressivist View”, I offer my neo-expressivist view (defended in Bar-On, Speaking my mind: Expression and self-knowledge. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2004 ), according to which the distinctive status of mental self-ascriptions is to be explained by appeal to the expressive character of acts of issuing them (in speech or in thought). This view, I argue, allows us to stay clear of eliminativism without committing to Cartesian substance dualism, thereby offering a viable way of slipping between the horns of Rorty’s dilemma. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the prospects of two different kinds of expressivism – ethical expressivism and avowal expressivism – in light of two common objections. The first objection stems from the fact that it is natural to think of ethical statements and avowals as at least potential manifestations of knowledge. The second objection stems from the fact that it is natural to treat ethical statements and avowals as truth-evaluable. I argue that, although a recent avowal expressivist attempt (Bar-On 2004) (...) to meet the second objection may succeed, the related response to the first objection threatens to undermine the principal advantages of that view. Then, I argue that although recent ethical expressivist attempts (especially Blackburn 1998 and Gibbard 2003) to meet the first objection are successful, the related response to the second objection threatens to undermine the principal advantages of that view. This suggests a cross-pollination of defensive strategies, which I go on to explore in order to articulate the theoretical commitments one must take on to make either cross-pollinated position work in the face of both objections. In light of this, I suggest that the prospects for the resulting ethical expressivist position are considerably better than the prospects for the resulting avowal expressivist position, though both positions involve significant theoretical costs. (shrink)
In this paper I provide an outline of a new kind of constitutive account of self-knowledge. It is argued that in order for the model properly to explain transparency, a further category of propositional attitudes—called “commitments”—has to be countenanced. It is also maintained that constitutive theories can’t remain neutral on the issue of the possession of psychological concepts, and a proposal about the possession of the concept of belief is sketched. Finally, it is claimed that in order for a constitutive (...) account properly to explain authority, it has to take a rather dramatic constructivist turn, which makes it suitable as an explanation of self-knowledge only for a limited class of mental states. (shrink)
Abstract: There is much that I admire in Richard Moran's account of how first-person authority may be consistent with self-knowledge as an achievement. In this paper, I examine his attempt to characterize the goal of psychoanalytic treatment, which is surely that the patient should go beyond the mere theoretical acceptance of the analyst's interpretation, and requires instead a more intimate, first-personal, awareness by the patient of their psychological condition.I object, however, that the way in which Moran distinguishes between the deliberative (...) and the theoretical attitudes is ultimately inconsistent with a satisfactory account of psychoanalytic practice; mainly because, despite Moran's claims to the contrary, such a distinction is still inspired by a Cartesian picture of the self. I argue that, in the light of his distinction, Moran may emphasize that an agent's psychological dispositions should be permeable to her decisions and projects, but is forced to reject the idea that permeability could go the other way too. I explore Bernard Williams' notion of acknowledgment and Simone Weil's distinction between two notions of necessity, in order to articulate a notion of receptive passivity which may help us to characterize this second direction of permeability. I finally outline why receptive passivity (and, thereby, the double direction of permeability) is crucial in order to identify the goal of psychoanalytic treatment and, derivatively, to understand how a certain kind of awareness may have a significant therapeutic effect. (shrink)
This article examines the role of emotion experience in both rational action and self-knowledge. A key distinction is made between emotion experiences of which we are unaware, and those of which we are aware. The former motivate action and color our view of the world, but they do not do so in a rational way, and their nonreflective nature obscures self-understanding. The article provides arguments and evidence to support the view that emotion experiences contribute to rational action only if one (...) is appropriately aware of them (because only then does one have the capacity to inhibit one's emotional reactions). Furthermore, it is argued that awareness of emotion increases self-knowledge because it is a source of information about our biases. (shrink)
Here are some things that I know right now: that I’m feeling a bit hungry, that there’s a red cardinal on my bird feeder, that I’m sitting down, that I have a lot of grading to do today, that my daughter is mad at me, that I’ll be going for a run soon, that I’d like to go out to the movies tonight. As orthodoxy would have it, some among these represent things to which I have privileged epistemic access, namely: (...) my present states of mind . I normally know these states directly, immediately, non-inferentially – I know them the way no one else can know them, and in a way I know nothing else. It’s the job of philosophers to tell us what the scope and source of this self-knowledge and to explain what renders it privileged. (shrink)
I argue that a variety of influential accounts of self-knowledge are flawed by the assumption that all immediate, authoritative knowledge of our own present mental states is of one basic kind. I claim, on the contrary, that a satisfactory account of self-knowledge must recognize at least two fundamentally different kinds of self-knowledge: an active kind through which we know our own judgments, and a passive kind through which we know our sensations. I show that the former kind of self-knowledge is (...) in an important sense fundamental, since it is intimately connected with the very capacity for rational reflection, and since it must be present in any creature that understands the first-person pronoun. Moreover, I suggest that these thoughts about self-knowledge have a Kantian provenance. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the method of transparency --determining whether I believe that p by considering whether p -- does not explain our privileged access to our own beliefs. Looking outward to determine whether one believes that p leads to the formation of a judgment about whether p, which one can then self-attribute. But use of this process does not constitute genuine privileged access to whether one judges that p. And looking outward will not provide for access to (...) dispositional beliefs, which are arguably more central examples of belief than occurrent judgments. First, one’s dispositional beliefs as to whether p may diverge from the occurrent judgments generated by the method of transparency. Second, even in cases where these are reliably linked — e.g., in which one’s judgment that p derives from one’s dispositional belief that p — using the judgment to self-attribute the dispositional belief requires an ‘inward’ gaze. (shrink)