A representational account of self-knowledge

Erkenntnis 67 (2):337 - 353 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Self-knowledge is knowledge of one’s own states (or processes) in an indexical mode of presentation. The philosophical debate is concentrating on mental states (or processes). If we characterize self-knowledge by natural language sentences, the most adequate utterance has a structure like “I know that I am in mental state M”. This common sense characterization has to be developed into an adequate description. In this investigation we will tackle two questions: (i) What precisely is the phenomenon referred to by “self-knowledge” and how can we adequately describe a form of self-knowledge which we might realistically enjoy? (ii) Can we have self-knowledge given the fact that the meaning of some words which we utter depends on the environment or the speech community? The theory we defend argues that we have to distinguish the public meaning of utterances, on the one hand, and the mental representations which are constituting a mental state of an individual, on the other. Self-knowledge should be characterized on the level of mental representations while the semantics of utterances self-attributing mental states should be treated separately. Externalism is only true for the public meaning of utterances but not for beliefs and other mental states including self-knowledge.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Bar-on on self-knowledge and expression.Matthew Boyle - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (1):9-20.
The myth of the hidden.William E. S. McNeill - 2009 - Dissertation, University College London
Acategorial states in a representational theory of mental processes.Harald Atmanspacher - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (5-6):5 - 6.
Self-Knowledge.Brie Gertler - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Accidentally factive mental states.Baron Reed - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):134–142.
Knowledge as a Mental State.Jennifer Nagel - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:275-310.
Desire and self-knowledge.Jordi Fernández - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517 – 536.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
112 (#159,650)

6 months
15 (#172,692)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Gottfried Vosgerau
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Albert Newen
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Citations of this work

Authorship and Control over Thoughts.Gottfried Vosgerau & Martin Voss - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (5):534-565.
Searching for the neural realizers of ownership unity.Rex Welshon - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):839 - 862.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2004 - MIT Press.
Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Elusive knowledge.David Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

View all 60 references / Add more references