Synthese 200 (2):1-15 (2022)

The paper argues that Gareth Evans’ argument for transparent self-knowledge is based on a conflation of doxastic transparency with ascriptive transparency. Doxastic transparency means that belief about one’s own doxastic state, e.g., the belief that one thinks that it will rain, can be warranted by ordinary empirical observation, e.g., of the weather. In contrast, ascriptive transparency says that self-ascriptions of belief, e.g., “I believe it will rain”, can be warranted by such observation. We first show that the thesis of doxastic transparency is ill-motivated and then offer a non-epistemic interpretation of ascriptive transparency by reference to the theory of explicit expressive acts: “I think it will rain” requires attendance to the weather because the utterance expresses a belief about the weather, not about ourselves. This will allow us to avoid what is often called “the puzzle of transparent self-knowledge” while remaining faithful to Evans’ linguistic observations.
Keywords doxastic transparency   ascriptive transparency   expressivism   Gareth Evans   Wittgenstein
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-022-03634-w
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The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A Natural History of Negation.Laurence R. Horn - 1989 - University of Chicago Press.

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