Self-knowledge and rationality

Erkenntnis 71 (1):73 - 88 (2009)
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Abstract

The topic of this article is the dependency or, maybe, the interdependency of rationality and self-knowledge. Here two questions may be distinguished, viz. (1) whether being rational is a necessary condition for a creature to have self-knowledge, and (2) whether having self-knowledge is a necessary condition for a creature to be rational. After a brief explication of what I mean by self-knowledge, I deal with the first question. There I defend the Davidsonian position, according to which rationality is, indeed, a necessary condition for self-knowledge. In addition, I distinguish two aspects of rationality which I call basic and local rationality. After that I concentrate on the second question for the remaining larger part of this article. Here I proceed in two stages: first I examine whether self-knowledge is necessary for basic rationality, and then whether it is necessary for local rationality.

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Thomas Spitzley
Universit├Ąt Duisburg-Essen

Citations of this work

Semantic Knowledge, Semantic Guidance, and Kripke's Wittgenstein.Derek Green - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):186-206.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.

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