Comments on Authority and Estrangement

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):440-447 (2004)
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Abstract

First person authority, argues Moran, is not to be understood as a matter of having some especially good observational access to certain facts about oneself. We can imagine a person who can report accurately on her own psychological states, for example because she can perform, without conscious thought, extremely reliable psychoanalytic-style diagnoses of herself. But the ‘authority’ with which she produces her judgements resembles that which she could have about another person in that it can exist even when she does not endorse or identify with the states she reports on. In imagining such a person we see that her speech about herself is very different from our more usual sort of psychological self-attributions and that something central to their authority, something we want to explain, has gone missing. Also the observational view does not illuminate why it is only psychological states to which one can have such privileged access, and only one’s own; nor does it explain why loss of such access is a serious matter.

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Jane Heal
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

Expressing first-person authority.Matthew Parrott - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2215-2237.
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