Embedded mental action in self-attribution of belief

Philosophical Studies 174 (2):353-377 (2017)
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Abstract

You can come to know that you believe that p partly by reflecting on whether p and then judging that p. Call this procedure “the transparency method for belief.” How exactly does the transparency method generate known self-attributions of belief? To answer that question, we cannot interpret the transparency method as involving a transition between the contents p and I believe that p. It is hard to see how some such transition could be warranted. Instead, in this context, one mental action is both a judgment that p and a self-attribution of a belief that p. The notion of embedded mental action is introduced here to explain how this can be so and to provide a full epistemic explanation of the transparency method. That explanation makes sense of first-person authority and immediacy in transparent self-knowledge. In generalized form, it gives sufficient conditions on an attitude’s being known transparently.

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Antonia Peacocke
Stanford University

Citations of this work

Mental action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
"How to Think Several Thoughts at Once: Content Plurality in Mental Action".Antonia Peacocke - 2023 - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 31-60.
The Evil Demon Inside.Nicholas Silins - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):325-343.

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Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
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