Self-Knowledge of Desire: When Inference Is Not Enough

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (4):381-398 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


According to inferentialism about self-knowledge of desire, the basic way in which we come to know what we want is through inference. In this paper, I argue that in a wide range of cases of knowing one’s desire, inference is insufficient. In particular, I look at two inferentialist models, one proposed by Krista Lawlor and the other by Alex Byrne and look at the challenges that they face in securing safe self-ascriptions. In response to these difficulties, I argue that we can explain how inferentially based self-ascriptions can be safe when we consider the agent’s role in sustaining their desires through attending and elaborating on the content of desire through imagination.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

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

Judgment Internalism: An Argument from Self-Knowledge.Jussi Suikkanen - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):489-503.
Being Familiar with What One Wants.Uku Tooming - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (4):690-710.
Desire and self-knowledge.Jordi Fernández - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517 – 536.
The verdictive organization of desire.Derek Baker - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):589-612.
Deep, dark…or transparent? Knowing our desires.Lauren Ashwell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):245-256.
Self-knowledge and communication.Johannes Roessler - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):153-168.
'Action and immunity to error through misidentification'.Lucy O'Brien - 2012 - In Simon Prosser & François Recanati (eds.), Immunity to error through misidentification. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124-143.


Added to PP

60 (#92,080)

6 months
21 (#723,368)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Uku Tooming
University of Tartu

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge Under Threat.Tomas Bogardus - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):289-313.
Précis of Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self‐Knowledge.Richard Moran - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):423-426.
Introspection.Alex Byrne - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (1):79-104.

View all 18 references / Add more references