Barz (2018) contends that there is no specification of the phenomenon of first-person authority that avoids falsity or triviality. This paper offers one. When a subject self-ascribes a current conscious mental state in speech, there is a presumption that what she says is true. To defeat this presumption, one must be able to explain how she has been led astray.
Pessimists about moral testimony hold that there is something suboptimal about forming moral beliefs by deferring to another. This paper motivates an analogous claim about self-knowledge of the reason-responsive attitudes. When it comes to your own mind, it seems important to know things “from the inside”, in the first-personal way, rather than putting your trust in another. After motivating Pessimism, the paper offers an explanation of its truth. First-person knowledge is distinctive because it involves knowing a state of mind and (...) finding it intelligible from one’s point of view. It concludes by considering the value of this form of self-understanding. (shrink)
This is the first volume dedicated solely to the topic of epistemological disjunctivism. The original essays in this volume, written by leading and up-and-coming scholars on the topic, are divided into three thematic sections. The first set of chapters addresses the historical background of epistemological disjunctivism. It features essays on ancient epistemology, Immanuel Kant, J.L. Austin, Edmund Husserl, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second section tackles a number contemporary issues related to epistemological disjunctivism, including its relationship with perceptual disjunctivism, radical skepticism, (...) and reasons for belief. Finally, the third group of essays extends the framework of epistemological disjunctivism to other forms of knowledge, such as testimonial knowledge, knowledge of other minds, and self-knowledge. Epistemological Disjunctivism is a timely collection that engages with an increasingly important topic in philosophy. It will appeal to researches and graduate students working in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of perception. (shrink)
Motivational Internalism is the thesis that, necessarily, moral beliefs are accompanied by motivational states. It is plausible to suppose that while another’s testimony might transmit information and justification, it can’t transmit motivational states such as moral emotions. Thus, Internalism provides a compelling explanation of “Pessimism”, the view that there is something illicit about forming moral beliefs by testimony. This paper presents a nonconstitutive reading of the Internalist thesis and then argues that it supports Pessimism in the form of a defeasible (...) presumption against moral deference. It also argues against views which explain Pessimism by appeal to requirements on moral belief formation. (shrink)
This essay addresses the question how we know our conscious thinking. Conscious thinking typically takes the form of a series of discrete episodes that constitute a complex cognitive activity. We must distinguish the discrete episodes of thinking in which a particular content is represented in phenomenal consciousness and is present “before the mind’s eye” from the extended activities of which these episodes form a part. The extended activities are themselves contentful and we have first-person access to them. But because their (...) content is not represented in phenomenal consciousness, this access cannot be broadly observational. Instead, I argue, it is agential. Furthermore, that extended activities are intentional explains the possibility of a nonobservational form of introspective access to the discrete episodes in consciousness. (shrink)
This paper motivates a constraint on how to explain the “sense of agency” for conscious thinking. It argues that a prominent model fails to satisfy the constraint before sketching an alternative that does. On the alternative, punctate acts of conscious thinking, such as episodes of inner speech, are recognizable as our deeds because they are recognizable as parts of complex cognitive activities, which we know non-observationally in virtue of holding intentions to perform them.
According to Pessimism about moral testimony, it is objectionable to form moral beliefs by deferring to another. This paper motivates Pessimism about another source of moral knowledge: propositional memory. Drawing on a discussion of Gilbert Ryle’s on forgetting the difference between right and wrong, it argues that Internalism about moral motivation offers a satisfying explanation of Pessimism about memory. A central claim of the paper is that Pessimism about memory (and by extension, testimony) is an issue in moral psychology rather (...) than moral epistemology. That is because it is best explained by appeal to claims about the constitution of moral knowledge as a state of mind, rather than requirements on belief formation. The paper also provides reason to think that the focus on testimony, pervasive in the literature, is something of a red herring. (shrink)
At the center of much contemporary work on self-knowledge of our attitudes is a debate between Agentialists and Empiricists. Empiricists hold that first-person knowledge of one’s own attitudes possesses a broadly empirical basis, such as observation or inference. Agentialists insist that an account of self-knowledge must make sense of the intimate connection between knowing one’s attitudes and actively forming them in response to reasons. But it is plausible to suppose that a psychologically realistic account of self-knowledge will emphasize both active (...) and passive elements. Focusing on the idea that we form self-ascriptions of belief on the basis of active deliberation, this paper outlines such a middle ground position. (shrink)
Some self-knowledge must be arrived at by the subject herself, rather than being transmitted by another’s testimony. Yet in many cases the subject interacts with an expert in part because she is likely to have the relevant knowledge of their mind. This raises a question: what is the expert’s knowledge like that there are barriers to simply transmitting it by testimony? I argue that the expert’s knowledge is, in some circumstances, proleptic, referring to attitudes the subject would hold were she (...) to reflect in certain ways. The expert’s knowledge cannot be transmitted by testimony because self-knowledge cannot be proleptic. (shrink)