Philosophical Studies 95 (3):311-328 (1999)

Andreas Kemmerling
Universität Heidelberg
In his book Naturalizing the Mind, Fred Dretske, among other things, gives what he thinks is a naturalist account of what he calls introspective knowledge.1 I shall not quarrel with his labels; I shall quarrel with what he tries to sell by using them. For him, introspective knowledge is “the mind’s direct knowledge of itself”,2 and he concentrates on knowledge of one’s own current mental occurrences, especially those which belong to the realm of sensory perception. An example he discusses is the knowledge somebody has who looks at something and sees it as blue, and thereby knows that he is, as Dretske puts it, “representing” it as blue. I shall stick to this example. Harvey is looking at my shirt, and he thereby comes to know that he is representing it as blue. Dretske wants to answer the question: What is really happening when Harvey acquires this piece of introspective knowledge? Let me first give, in a very rough way, what I take to be Dretske’s basic idea. Introspective knowledge is not acquired by anything like looking inside oneself. One looks in the same direction as one does when one is acquiring “extraspective” knowledge. Harvey doesn’t first look at my shirt, saying “Uhuh, this shirt looks blue, but now I’d like to find out how I am representing it”, and then turns to look at something else in order to find out what the colour is he is representing the shirt to have. Harvey only looks at the shirt, when he acquires this item of introspective knowledge. In looking at that shirt, he acquires all the information he needs for acquiring the knowledge about himself that he is representing it as blue. The eyes’ job is done. The rest is exploiting that very information, not acquiring any new information
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1004241924196
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,214
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Content Naturalized.Luciano B. Mariano - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (2):205-238.
Kornblith on Knowledge and Epistemology.Laurence Bonjour - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (2):317-335.
Knowledge in Intention.Kevin Falvey - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 99 (1):21-44.
Questions, Answers, and Knowledge- Wh.Meghan Masto - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (3):395-413.
On Logics of Knowledge and Belief.Robert Stalnaker - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (1):169-199.
Boghossian’s Fear of Knowledge. [REVIEW]Ernest Sosa - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):399 - 407.
Proof Checking and Knowledge by Intellection.Robin Jeshion - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (1/2):85 - 112.
Shoemaker on Moore's Paradox and Self-Knowledge.William S. Larkin - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (3):239-252.
Pragmatic Commitments to Naturalized Epistemology.Cong Hangqing & Cheng Xiaodong - 2006 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (3):477-490.
Pragmatic Commitments to Naturalized Epistemology.Hangqing Cong, Xiaodong Cheng & Haidan Chen - 2006 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (3):477-490.
Précis of Fear of Knowledge.Paul Boghossian - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):377-378.


Added to PP index

Total views
89 ( #131,098 of 2,507,651 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,530 of 2,507,651 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes