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  1. Eliminativism and Reading One's Own Mind.T. Parent - manuscript
    Some contemporary philosophers suggest that we know just by introspection that folk psychological states exist. However, such an "armchair refutation" of eliminativism seems too easy. I first attack two strategems, inspired by Descartes, on how such a refutation might proceed. However, I concede that the Cartesian intuition that we have direct knowledge of representational states is very powerful. The rest of this paper then offers an error theory of how that intuition might really be mistaken. The idea is that introspection (...)
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  2. Whose Consciousness? Reflexivity and the Problem of Self-Knowledge.Christian Coseru - forthcoming - In Mark Siderits, Ching Keng & John Spackman (eds.), Buddhist Philosophy of Consciousness Tradition and Dialogue. Leiden: pp. 121-153.
    If I am aware that p, say, that it is raining, is it the case that I must be aware that I am aware that p? Does introspective or object-awareness entail the apprehension of mental states as being of some kind or another: self-monitoring or intentional? That is, are cognitive events implicitly self-aware or is “self-awareness” just another term for metacognition? Not surprisingly, intuitions on the matter vary widely. This paper proposes a novel solution to this classical debate by reframing (...)
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  3. L'accointance entre omniscience et omnipotence.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - Klesis.
    Introspection is the capacity by which we know our own conscious mental states. Several theories aim to explain it. According to acquaintance theory, we know our experiences by being acquainted with them. Acquaintance is non-causal, non-inferential, and non-observational. I present a dilemma for the acquaintance theory of introspection. Either subjects are always acquainted with all their experiences; or some attentional mechanism selects the relevant experiences (or aspects of experiences) for introspection. The first option is implausible: it implies that subjects are (...)
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  4. Plotinus' Self-Reflexivity Argument against Materialism.Zain Raza - forthcoming - Ancient Philosophy Today.
    Plotinus argues that materialism cannot explain reflexive cognition. He argues that mere bodies cannot engage in the self-reflexive activity of both cognizing some content and being cognitively aware of cognizing this content. Short of outright denying the cognitive unity underlying this phenomenon of self-awareness, materialism is in trouble. However, Plotinus bases his argument on the condition that material bodies are capable of a spatial unity at most, and while this condition has purchase on ancient materialists, it would be rejected today. (...)
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  5. Knowledge of Language as Self-Knowledge.John Schwenkler - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In a series of early essays, beginning with "Must We Mean What We Say?", Stanley Cavell offers a sustained response to the argument that ordinary language philosophy is nothing more than amateur linguistics, carried out from the armchair -- so that philosophers' claims about "what we say", and what we mean when we say it, are necessarily in need of proper empirical support. The present paper provides a close reading of Cavell and a defense of his argument that, since a (...)
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  6. Why Philosophy Makes No Progress.Eric Dietrich - 2023 - Global Philosophy 33 (2):1-14.
    This paper offers an explanation for why some parts of philosophy have made no progress. Philosophy has made no progress because it cannot make progress. And it cannot because of the nature of the phenomena philosophy is tasked with explaining—all of it involves consciousness. Here, it will not be argued directly that consciousness is intractable. Rather, it will be shown that a specific version of the problem of consciousness is unsolvable. This version is the Problem of the Subjective and Objective. (...)
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  7. Certainty and Our Sense of Acquaintance with Experiences.François Kammerer - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):3015-3036.
    Why do we tend to think that phenomenal consciousness poses a hard problem? The answer seems to lie in part in the fact that we have the impression that phenomenal experiences are presented to us in a particularly immediate and revelatory way: we have a sense of acquaintance with our experiences. Recent views have offered resources to explain such persisting impression, by hypothesizing that the very design of our cognitive systems inevitably leads us to hold beliefs about our own experiences (...)
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  8. Knowing What It's Like.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):187-209.
    David Lewis—famously—never tasted vegemite. Did he have any knowledge of what it's like to taste vegemite? Most say 'no'; I say 'yes'. I argue that knowledge of what it’s like varies along a spectrum from more exact to more approximate, and that phenomenal concepts vary along a spectrum in how precisely they characterize what it’s like to undergo their target experiences. This degreed picture contrasts with the standard all-or-nothing picture, where phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge lack any such degreed structure. (...)
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  9. Smithies on Self-Knowledge of Beliefs.Brie Gertler - 2022 - Analysis 81 (4):782-792.
    This commentary focuses on Smithies’ views about self-knowledge. Specifically, I examine his case for the striking thesis that rational thinkers will know all their beliefs. I call this the ubiquity of self-knowledge thesis. Smithies’ case for this thesis is an important pillar of his larger project, as it bears on the nature of justification and our ability to fulfill the requirements of rationality. Section 1 outlines Smithies’ argument for the ubiquity of self-knowledge. Section 2 sets the stage for a detailed (...)
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  10. Believing for a Reason is (at least) Nearly Self-Intimating.Sophie Keeling - 2022 - Erkenntnis.
    This paper concerns a specific epistemic feature of believing for a reason (e.g., believing that it will rain on the basis of the grey clouds outside). It has commonly been assumed that our access to such facts about ourselves is akin in all relevant respects to our access to why other people hold their beliefs. Further, discussion of self-intimation - that we are necessarily in a position to know when we are in certain conditions - has centred largely around mental (...)
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  11. Davidson on Self‐Knowledge: A Transcendental Explanation.Ali Hossein Khani - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (2):153-184.
    Davidson has attempted to offer his own solution to the problem of self-knowledge, but there has been no consensus between his commentators on what this solution is. Many have claimed that Davidson’s account stems from his remarks on disquotational specifications of self-ascriptions of meaning and mental content, the account which I will call the “Disquotational Explanation”. It has also been claimed that Davidson’s account rather rests on his version of content externalism, which I will call the “Externalist Explanation”. I will (...)
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  12. Guarantee and Reflexivity.Santiago Echeverri - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (9):473-500.
    The rule account of self-conscious thought holds that a thought is self-conscious if and only if it contains a token of a concept-type that is governed by a reflexive rule. An account along these lines was discussed in the late 70s. Nevertheless, very few philosophers endorse it nowadays. I shall argue that this summary dismissal is partly unjustified. There is one version of the rule account that can explain a key epistemic property of self-conscious thoughts: Guarantee. Along the way, I (...)
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  13. Are Introspective Beliefs about One’s Own Visual Experiences Immediate?Wolfgang Barz - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1).
    The aim of this paper is to show that introspective beliefs about one’s own current visual experiences are not immediate in the sense that what justifies them does not include other beliefs that the subject in question might possess. The argument will take the following course. First, the author explains the notions of immediacy and truth-sufficiency as they are used here. Second, the author suggests a test to determine whether a given belief lacks immediacy. Third, the author applies this test (...)
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  14. What It's Like To Have a Cognitive Home.Matt Duncan - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):66-81.
    Many people believe that the mind is an epistemic refuge of sorts. The idea is that when it comes to certain core mental states, one’s being in such a state automatically puts one in a position to know that one is in that state. This idea has come under attack in recent years. One particularly influential attack comes from Timothy Williamson (2000), who argues that there is no central core of states or conditions—mental or otherwise—to which we are guaranteed epistemic (...)
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  15. Perspective and Epistemic State Ascriptions.Markus Kneer - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):313-341.
    This article explores whether perspective taking has an impact on the ascription of epistemic states. To do so, a new method is introduced which incites participants to imagine themselves in the position of the protagonist of a short vignette and to judge from her perspective. In a series of experiments, perspective proves to have a significant impact on belief ascriptions, but not on knowledge ascriptions. For belief, perspective is further found to moderate the epistemic side-effect effect significantly. It is hypothesized (...)
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  16. Descartes’s Anti-Transparency and the Need for Radical Doubt.Elliot Samuel Paul - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:1083-1129.
    Descartes is widely portrayed as the arch proponent of “the epistemological transparency of thought” (or simply, “Transparency”). The most promising version of this view—Transparency-through-Introspection—says that introspecting (i.e., inwardly attending to) a thought guarantees certain knowledge of that thought. But Descartes rejects this view and provides numerous counterexamples to it. I argue that, instead, Descartes’s theory of self-knowledge is just an application of his general theory of knowledge. According to his general theory, certain knowledge is acquired only through clear and distinct (...)
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  17. Self-Knowledge and Its Limits.John Schwenkler - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):85-95.
    This is a review essay of Quassim Cassam, Self-Knowledge for Humans (Oxford, 2014) and John Doris, Talking to Our Selves (Oxford, 2015). In it I question whether Cassam succeeds in his challenge to Richard Moran's account of first-personal authority, and whether Doris is right that experimental evidence for unconscious influences on behavior generates skeptical worries on accounts that regard accurate self-knowledge as a precondition of agency.
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  18. Pain and Incorrigibility.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2017 - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. New York: Routledge.
    This chapter (from Routledge's forthcoming handbook on the philosophy of pain) considers the question of whether people are always correct when they judge themselves to be in pain, or not in pain. While I don't show sympathy for traditional routes to the conclusion that people are "incorrigible" in their pain judgments, I explore--and perhaps even advocate--a different route to such incorrigibility. On this low road to incorrigibility, a sensory state's being judged unpleasant is what makes it a pain (or not).
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  19. Embedded mental action in self-attribution of belief.Antonia Peacocke - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):353-377.
    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 (...)
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  20. Hidden Qualia.Derek Shiller - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (1):165-180.
    In this paper, I propose that those who reject higher-order theories of consciousness should not rule out the possibility of having conscious experiences that they cannot introspect. I begin by offering four arguments that such non-introspectible conscious experiences are possible. Next, I offer two arguments for thinking that we actually have such experiences. According to the first argument, it is unlikely that evolution would have furnished us with a faculty of introspection that worked flawlessly. According to the second argument, there (...)
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  21. Narrative Identity and Diachronic Self-Knowledge.Kevin J. Harrelson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):164-179.
    Our ability to tell stories about ourselves has captivated many theorists, and some have taken these developments for an opportunity to answer long-standing questions about the nature of personhood. In this essay I employ two skeptical arguments to show that this move was a mistake. The first argument rests on the observation that storytelling is revisionary. The second implies that our stories about ourselves are biased in regard to our existing self-image. These arguments undercut narrative theories of identity, but they (...)
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  22. Belief and Self‐Knowledge: Lessons From Moore's Paradox.Declan Smithies - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):393-421.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that what I call the simple theory of introspection can be extended to account for our introspective knowledge of what we believe as well as what we consciously experience. In section one, I present the simple theory of introspection and motivate the extension from experience to belief. In section two, I argue that extending the simple theory provides a solution to Moore’s paradox by explaining why believing Moorean conjunctions always involves some degree (...)
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  23. Introspection, Anton's Syndrome, and Human Echolocation.Sean Allen‐Hermanson - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):n/a-n/a.
    Philosophers have recently argued that since there are people who are blind, but don't know it, and people who echolocate, but don't know it, conscious introspection is highly unreliable. I contend that a second look at Anton's syndrome, human echolocation, and ‘facial vision’ suggests otherwise. These examples do not support skepticism about the reliability of introspection.
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  24. Introspective misidentification.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1737-1758.
    It is widely held that introspection-based self-ascriptions of mental states are immune to error through misidentification , relative to the first person pronoun. Many have taken such errors to be logically impossible, arguing that the immunity holds as an “absolute” necessity. Here I discuss an actual case of craniopagus twins—twins conjoined at the head and brain—as a means to arguing that such errors are logically possible and, for all we know, nomologically possible. An important feature of the example is that (...)
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  25. La primera certeza de Descartes.Martin Francisco Fricke - 2014 - In Dávalos Patricia King, González Juan Carlos González & de Luna Eduardo González (eds.), Ciencias cognitivas y filosofía. Entre la cooperación y la integración. Universidad Autónoma de Queretaro and Miguel Ángel Porrúa. pp. 99-115.
    In the second Meditation, Descartes argues that, because he thinks, he must exist. What are his reasons for accepting the premise of this argument, namely that he thinks? Some commentators suggest that Descartes has a ‘logic’ argument for his premise: It is impossible to be deceived in thinking that one thinks, because being deceived is a species of thinking. In this paper, I argue that this ‘logic’ argument cannot contribute to the first certainty that supposedly stops the Cartesian doubt. Rather, (...)
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  26. Merleau-Ponty and McDowell on the Transparency of the Mind.Rasmus Thybo Jensen - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):470-492.
    McDowell and Merleau-Ponty share a critical attitude towards a certain Cartesian picture of the mind. According to the picture in question nothing which properly belongs to subjectivity can be hidden to the subject herself. Nevertheless there is a striking asymmetry in how the two philosophers portray the problematic consequences of such a picture. They can seem to offer exact opposite views of these consequences, which, given the almost identical characterization of the transparency claim, is puzzling. I argue that a closer (...)
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  27. Introspection and inference.Nicholas Silins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):291-315.
    In this paper I develop the idea that, by answering the question whether p, you can answer the question whether you believe that p. In particular, I argue that judging that p is a fallible yet basic guide to whether one believes that p. I go on to defend my view from an important skeptical challenge, according to which my view would make it too easy to reject skeptical hypotheses about our access to our minds. I close by responding to (...)
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  28. On the unreliability of introspection.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1177-1186.
    In his provocative and engaging new book, Perplexities of Consciousness, Eric Schwitzgebel makes a compelling case that introspection is unreliable in the sense that we are prone to ignorance and error in making introspective judgments about our own conscious experience. My aim in this commentary is to argue that Schwitzgebel’s thesis about the unreliability of introspection does not have the damaging implications that he claims it does for the prospects of a broadly Cartesian approach to epistemology.
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  29. Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness, Intentionality and Ignorance.Daniel Stoljar - 2013 - In Barry Dainton & Howard Robinson (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
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  30. Acquaintance and the mind-body problem.Katalin Balog - 2012 - In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16-43.
    In this paper I begin to develop an account of the acquaintance that each of us has with our own conscious states and processes. The account is a speculative proposal about human mental architecture and specifically about the nature of the concepts via which we think in first personish ways about our qualia. In a certain sense my account is neutral between physicalist and dualist accounts of consciousness. As will be clear, a dualist could adopt the account I will offer (...)
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  31. Discrimination and Self-Knowledge.Patrick Greenough - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I show that a variety of Cartesian Conceptions of the mental are unworkable. In particular, I offer a much weaker conception of limited discrimination than the one advanced by Williamson (2000) and show that this weaker conception, together with some plausible background assumptions, is not only able to undermine the claim that our core mental states are luminous (roughly: if one is in such a state then one is in a position to know that one is) but (...)
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  32. Infallible A Priori Self-Justifying Propositions.Glen Hoffmann - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):55-68.
    On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified, i.e., justified in a way that is truth-entailing. In this paper, I examine the second thesis of rationalist infallibilism, what might be called ‘synthetic a priori infallibilism’. Exploring the seemingly only potentially plausible species of synthetic a priori infallibility, I reject the infallible justification of so-called self-justifying propositions.
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  33. A Simple Theory of Introspection.Declan Smithies - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a simple theory of introspection on which a mental state is introspectively accessible just by virtue of the fact that one is in that mental state. This theory raises two questions: first, a generalization question: which mental states are introspectively accessible; and second, an explanatory question: why are some mental states introspectively accessible, rather than others, or none at all? In response to the generalization question, I argue that a mental state is introspectively accessible if and only (...)
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  34. Knowledge of Perception.Daniel Stoljar - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. New York, NY, USA:
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  35. Perplexities of Consciousness, by Eric Schwitzgebel. [REVIEW]Sebastian Watzl & Wayne Wu - 2012 - Mind 121 (482):524-529.
    In this review of Eric Schwitzgebel's "Perplexities of Consciousness", we discuss the book's arguments in light of the role of attention in introspection.
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  36. Transparency of Mind: The Contributions of Descartes, Leibniz, and Berkeley to the Genesis of the Modern Subject.Gary Hatfield - 2011 - In Hubertus Busche (ed.), Departure for Modern Europe: A Handbook of Early Modern Philosophy (1400-1700). Felix Meiner Verlag. pp. 361–375.
    The chapter focuses on attributions of the transparency of thought to early modern figures, most notably Descartes. Many recent philosophers assume that Descartes believed the mind to be “transparent”: since all mental states are conscious, we are therefore aware of them all, and indeed incorrigibly know them all. Descartes, and Berkeley too, do make statements that seem to endorse both aspects of the transparency theses (awareness of all mental states; incorrigibility). However, they also make systematic theoretical statements that directly countenance (...)
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  37. Ich bin jetzt hier - aber wo ist das?Geert Keil - 2011 - In Siri Granum Carson, Jonathan Knowles & Bjørn K. Myskja (eds.), Kant: Here, Now, and How. Mentis. pp. 15-34.
    Menschen verfügen über ein komplexes Vermögen der Selbstlokalisierung in Raum und Zeit. Seine eigene Position festzustellen kann in verschiedenen Kontexten Verschiedenes bedeuten. Nicht jedes unsere raumzeitliche Lokalisierung und Orientierung betreffende Problem ist philosophischer Natur. Fragen wie »Wo ist Norden?«, »Wie weit ist es nach Hause?« oder »In welcher Richtung liegt das Ziel?« sind lebensweltliche und gegebenenfalls navigatorische Fragen. Die kognitiven Mechanismen und Fähigkeiten zu untersuchen, die unseren Lokalisierungs- und Orientierungsleistungen zugrunde liegen, ist eine Aufgabe für die Kognitionswissenschaften. Die Untersuchung der (...)
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  38. Phenomenal Concepts.Katalin Balog - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312.
    This article is about the special, subjective concepts we apply to experience, called “phenomenal concepts”. They are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. Conscious experience strike many philosophers as philosophically problematic and difficult to accommodate within a physicalistic metaphysics. Second, PCs are widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. The sense that there is something special about PCs (...)
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  39. Affective ignorance.Christoph Jäger - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (1):123 - 139.
    According to one of the most influential views in the philosophy of self-knowledge each person enjoys some special cognitive access to his or her own current mental states and episodes. This view faces two fundamental tasks. First, it must elucidate the general conceptual structure of apparent asymmetries between beliefs about one’s own mind and beliefs about other minds. Second, it must demarcate the mental territory for which first-person-special-access claims can plausibly be maintained. Traditional candidates include sensations, experiences (of various kinds), (...)
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  40. Self-knowledge in Descartes and Malebranche.Lawrence Nolan & John Whipple - 2005 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (1):55-81.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Journal of the History of Philosophy 43.1 (2005) 55-81 [Access article in PDF] Self-Knowledge in Descartes and Malebranche Lawrence Nolan John Whipple 1. Introduction Descartes's notorious claim that mind is better known than body has been the target of repeated criticisms, but none appears more challenging than that of his intellectual heir Nicolas Malebranche.1 Whereas other critics—especially twentieth-century philosophers eager to use Descartes as their whipping boy—have often been (...)
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  41. Indexikalität und Infallibilität.Geert Keil - 2000 - In Audun Ofsti, Peter Ulrich & Truls Wyller (eds.), Indexicality and Idealism: The Self in Philosophical Perspective. Mentis.
    Some, if not all statements containing the word 'I' seem to be 'immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun' (Shoemaker). This immunity, however, is due to the fact that the pronoun 'I' plays no identifying role in the first place. Since no identification takes place here, the alleged immunity to misidentification should come as no surprise. But there is a second immunity thesis, which captures the peculiarity of 'I' better: The first-person pronoun is immune to reference-failure. Some (...)
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  42. Perception and corrigibility.Bruce N. Langtry - 1970 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):369-372.
    This paper, the first of mine to be published, criticizes some arguments against the logical (i.e., metaphysical) possibility that there is incorrigible knoweledge of the external world.
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