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Self-Knowledge and the Transparency of Belief

In Anthony Hatzimoysis (ed.), Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press (2011)

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  1. Remembering the Past and Imagining the Actual.Daniel Munro - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
    Recently, a view I refer to as “hypothetical continuism” has garnered some favour among philosophers, based largely on empirical research showing substantial neurocognitive overlaps between episodic memory and imagination. According to this view, episodically remembering past events is the same kind of cognitive process as sensorily imagining future and counterfactual events. In this paper, I first argue that hypothetical continuism is false, on the basis of substantive epistemic asymmetries between episodic memory and the relevant kinds of imagination. However, I then (...)
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  • Critical Reasoning and the Inferential Transparency Method.Benjamin Winokur - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):23-42.
    Alex Byrne (2005; 2011a; 2011b; 2018) has argued that we can gain self-knowledge of our current mental states through the use of a transparency method. A transparency method provides an extrospective rather than introspective route to self-knowledge. For example, one comes to know whether one believes P not by thinking about oneself but by considering the world-directed question of whether P is true. According to Byrne, this psychological process consists in drawing inferences from world-directed propositions to mind-directed conclusions. In this (...)
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  • The Value of Privileged Access.Jared Peterson - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    It is commonly held that we stand in a special epistemic relationship with respect to certain facts about our minds, a relationship that is known as privileged access. Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that we either lack privileged access entirely, or that the scope of such access is severely limited. While there have been a number of attempts in the literature to respond to these skeptics, one question that has not been addressed is what, if anything, of value (...)
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  • Beliefs’ self-knowledge: an objection to the method of transparency.Javier Vidal - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:429-448.
    According to the method of transparency, genuine self-knowledge is the outcome of an inference from world to mind. A. Byrne has developed a theory in which the method of transparency consists in following an epistemic rule in order to form self-verifying second-order beliefs. In this paper, I argue that Byrne’s theory does not establish sufficient conditions for having self-knowledge of first-order beliefs. Examining a case of self-deception, I strive to show that following such a rule might not result in self-knowledge (...)
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  • Phenomenal Evidence and Factive Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):875-896.
    Perceptions guide our actions and provide us with evidence of the world around us. Illusions and hallucinations can mislead us: they may prompt as to act in ways that do not mesh with the world around us and they may lead us to form false beliefs about that world. The capacity view provides an account of evidence that does justice to these two facts. It shows in virtue of what illusions and hallucinations mislead us and prompt us to act. Moreover, (...)
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  • Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:e12727.
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  • Occurrent States.Gary Bartlett - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):1-17.
    The distinction between occurrent and non-occurrent mental states is frequently appealed to by contemporary philosophers, but it has never been explicated in any significant detail. In the literature, two accounts of the distinction are commonly presupposed. One is that occurrent states are conscious states. The other is that non-occurrent states are dispositional states, and thus that occurrent states are manifestations of dispositions. I argue that neither of these accounts is adequate, and therefore that another account is needed. I propose that (...)
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  • Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
    This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is (...)
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  • Immunity, thought insertion, and the first-person concept.Michele Palmira - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3833-3860.
    In this paper I aim to illuminate the significance of thought insertion for debates about the first-person concept. My starting point is the often-voiced contention that thought insertion might challenge the thesis that introspection-based self-ascriptions of psychological properties are immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person concept. In the first part of the paper I explain what a thought insertion-based counterexample to this immunity thesis should be like. I then argue that various thought insertion-involving scenarios do not give (...)
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  • Knowing Our Reasons: Distinctive Self‐Knowledge of Why We Hold Our Attitudes and Perform Actions.Sophie Keeling - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2017 - London and New York: Routledge.
    Both through his own work and that of his students, Franz Clemens Brentano had an often underappreciated influence on the course of 20 th - and 21 st -century philosophy. _The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School_ offers full coverage of Brentano’s philosophy and his influence. It contains 38 brand-new essays from an international team of experts that offer a comprehensive view of Brentano’s central research areas—philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and value theory—as well as of the principal (...)
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  • Kant, the Transcendental Designation of I, and the Direct Reference Theory.Luca Forgione - 2019 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 34 (1): 31-49.
    The aim of this paper is to address the semantic issue of the nature of the representation I and of the transcendental designation, i.e., the self-referential apparatus involved in transcendental apperception. The I think, the bare or empty representation I, is the representational vehicle of the concept of transcendental subject; as such, it is a simple representation. The awareness of oneself as thinking is only expressed by the I: the intellectual representation which performs a referential function of the spontaneity of (...)
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  • The Value of Transparent Self-Knowledge.Fleur Jongepier - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-22.
    Questions about the normative significance of ‘transparency’ do not receive much attention, even though they were central to Richard Moran’s original account. Instead, transparency is typically studied because of its epistemic and psychological peculiarities. In this paper, I consider three normative conceptions of transparency: teleological rationalism, procedural rationalism, and relational rationalism. The first is a theory about how transparency might relate to flourishing as a rational agent; the latter two are theories about how transparency relates to non-alienated self-knowledge. All three (...)
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  • Revelation and Physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.
    Discussion of the challenge that acquaintance with the nature of experience poses to physicalism.
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  • Being Familiar with What One Wants.Uku Tooming - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (4):690-710.
    Self‐ascriptions of desire seem to differ in their epistemic security. There are easy cases in which a sincere self‐ascription immediately counts as knowledgeable, and there are hard cases in which it is an open question whether an agent actually knows that they have the desire that they take themselves to have. In this paper, I suggest an explanation according to which whether a self‐ascription of desire is easy or hard depends on whether one is familiar with the content of the (...)
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  • A Wittgensteinian View of Mind and Self-Knowledge.Ángel García Rodríguez - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):993-1013.
    This paper defends a Wittgenstein-inspired conception of the nature of mind and self-knowledge. Thus, it is claimed that the mind is to be conceived as expressive behaviour; and that knowledge of one’s own mind is not to be thought of as a matter of first-person access, i.e. a special sort of access available to oneself alone, but rather as a matter of ordinary access, similar to other people’s. It is also argued that this conception does not undermine the distinctness of (...)
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  • Solely Generic Phenomenology.Ned Block - 2015 - Open MIND 2015.
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  • The Puzzle of Transparency and How to Solve It.Wolfgang Barz - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (7):916-935.
    According to the transparency approach, achievement of self-knowledge is a two-stage process: first, the subject arrives at the judgment ‘p’; second, the subject proceeds to the judgment ‘I believe that p.’ The puzzle of transparency is to understand why the transition from the first to the second judgment is rationally permissible. After revisiting the debate between Byrne and Boyle on this matter, I present a novel solution according to which the transition is rationally permissible in virtue of a justifying argument (...)
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  • Interpretivism and Norms.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):905-930.
    This article reconsiders the relationship between interpretivism about belief and normative standards. Interpretivists have traditionally taken beliefs to be fixed in relation to norms of interpretation. However, recent work by philosophers and psychologists reveals that human belief attribution practices are governed by a rich diversity of normative standards. Interpretivists thus face a dilemma: either give up on the idea that belief is constitutively normative or countenance a context-sensitive disjunction of norms that constitute belief. Either way, interpretivists should embrace the intersubjective (...)
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  • The Relevance of Explanatory First-Person Approaches (EFPA) for Understanding Psychopathological Phenomena. The Role of Phenomenology.Philipp Schmidt - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • How to Know One’s Experiences Transparently.Frank Hofmann - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1305-1324.
    I would like to propose a demonstrative transparency model of our immediate, introspective self-knowledge of experiences. It is a model entirely in line with transparency. It rests on three elements: mental demonstration, the capacity to apply concepts to what is given in experience, and ordinary inference. The model avoids inner sense, acquaintance, and any special kind of normativity or rationality. The crucial and new ingredient is mental demonstration. By mental demonstration we can refer indexically to the contents of our own (...)
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  • How Might Degrees of Belief Shift? On Action Conflicting with Professed Beliefs.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):732-742.
    People often act in ways that appear incompatible with their sincere assertions. But how might we explain such cases? On the shifting view, subjects’ degrees of belief may be highly sensitive to changes in context. This paper articulates and refines this view, after defending it against recent criticisms. It details two mechanisms by which degrees of beliefs may shift.
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  • Retracted Article: Habits, Priming and the Explanation of Mindless Action.Ezio Di Nucci - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):795-795.
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  • The Essential Tension in Phenomenal Consciousness.Søren Harnow Klausen - 2020 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):159-190.
    The contemporary standard view of phenomenal consciousness —shared by reductionists and non-reductionists alike—takes it to be a simple, ‘low-level’, ‘pre-reflective’ feature of mental states,...
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  • Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Implicit bias” is a term of art referring to relatively unconscious and relatively automatic features of prejudiced judgment and social behavior. While psychologists in the field of “implicit social cognition” study “implicit attitudes” toward consumer products, self-esteem, food, alcohol, political values, and more, the most striking and well-known research has focused on implicit attitudes toward members of socially stigmatized groups, such as African-Americans, women, and the LGBTQ community.[1] For example, imagine Frank, who explicitly believes that women and men are equally (...)
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  • Transparent Introspection of Wishes.Wolfgang Barz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):1993-2023.
    The aim of this paper is to lay the groundwork for extending the idea of transparent introspection to wishes. First, I elucidate the notion of transparent introspection and highlight its advantages over rival accounts of self-knowledge. Then I pose several problems that seem to obstruct the extension of transparent introspection to wishes. In order to overcome these problems, I call into question the standard propositional attitude analysis of non-doxastic attitudes. My considerations lead to a non-orthodox account of attitudes in general (...)
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  • Reasoning and Self-Knowledge.Martin Francisco Fricke - 2018 - Análisis Filosófico 38 (1):33-55.
    What is the relation between reasoning and self-knowledge? According to Shoemaker (1988), a certain kind of reasoning requires self-knowledge: we cannot rationally revise our beliefs without knowing that we have them, in part because we cannot see that there is a problem with an inconsistent set of propositions unless we are aware of believing them. In this paper, I argue that this view is mistaken. A second account, versions of which can be found in Shoemaker (1988 and 2009) and Byrne (...)
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  • Razonamiento y Autoconocimiento.Martin F. Fricke - 2018 - Análisis Filosófico 38 (1):33-55.
    What is the relation between reasoning and self-knowledge? According to Shoemaker, a certain kind of reasoning requires self-knowledge: we cannot rationally revise our beliefs without knowing that we have them, in part because we cannot see that there is a problem with an inconsistent set of propositions unless we are aware of believing them. In this paper, I argue that this view is mistaken. A second account, versions of which can be found in Shoemaker and Byrne, claims that we can (...)
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  • Extending the Transparency Method Beyond Belief: A Solution to the Generality Problem.Adam J. Andreotta - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-22.
    According to the Transparency Method (TM), one can know whether one believes that P by attending to a question about the world—namely, ‘Is P true?’ On this view, one can know, for instance, whether one believes that Socrates was a Greek philosopher by attending to the question ‘Was Socrates a Greek philosopher?’ While many think that TM can account for the self-knowledge we can have of such a belief—and belief in general—fewer think that TM can be generalised to account for (...)
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  • Knowledge of Things.Matt Duncan - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3559-3592.
    As I walk into a restaurant to meet up with a friend, I look around and see all sorts of things in my immediate environment—tables, chairs, people, colors, shapes, etc. As a result, I know of these things. But what is the nature of this knowledge? Nowadays, the standard practice among philosophers is to treat all knowledge, aside maybe from “know-how”, as propositional. But in this paper I will argue that this is a mistake. I’ll argue that some knowledge is (...)
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  • If You Can't Change What You Believe, You Don't Believe It.Grace Helton - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):501-526.
    I develop and defend the view that subjects are necessarily psychologically able to revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence. Specifically, subjects can revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence, given their current psychological mechanisms and skills. If a subject lacks this ability, then the mental state in question is not a belief, though it may be some other kind of cognitive attitude, such as a supposi-tion, an entertained thought, or a pretense. The result is a moderately revisionary (...)
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  • Radical Enactivism and Self-Knowledge.Giovanni Rolla - 2018 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 59 (141):723-743.
    ABSTRACT I propose a middle-ground between a perceptual model of self-knowledge, according to which the objects of self-awareness are accessed through some kind of causal mechanism, and a rationalist model, according to which self-knowledge is constituted by one's rational agency. Through an analogy with the role of the exercises of sensorimotor abilities in rationally grounded perceptual knowledge, self-knowledge is construed as an exercise of action-oriented and action-orienting abilities. This view satisfies the privileged access condition usually associated with self-knowledge without entailing (...)
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  • Introspection.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Self-Knowledge.Brie Gertler - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    "Self-knowledge" is commonly used in philosophy to refer to knowledge of one's particular mental states, including one's beliefs, desires, and sensations. It is also sometimes used to refer to knowledge about a persisting self -- its ontological nature, identity conditions, or character traits. At least since Descartes, most philosophers have believed that self-knowledge is importantly different from knowledge of the world external to oneself, including others' thoughts. But there is little agreement about what precisely distinguishes self-knowledge from knowledge in other (...)
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  • Judgment as a Guide to Belief.Nicholas Silins - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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  • Renewed Acquaintance.Brie Gertler - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123.
    I elaborate and defend a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what I call the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. In Section 1 of the paper I outline the acquaintance approach by drawing on its Russellian lineage. A more detailed picture of the (...)
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  • A new argument for the phenomenal approach to personal persistence.Matt Duncan - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2031-2049.
    When it comes to personal identity, two approaches have long ruled the roost. The first is the psychological approach, which has it that our persistence through time consists in the continuance of certain of our psychological traits, such as our memories, beliefs, desires, or personality. The second is the biological approach, according to which personal persistence consists in continuity in our physical or biological makeup. Amid the bipartite reign of these approaches, a third contender has emerged: the phenomenal approach. On (...)
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  • ‘My Name is Joe and I'm an Alcoholic’: Addiction, Self-Knowledge and the Dangers of Rationalism.Neil Levy - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):265-276.
    Rationalist accounts of self-knowledge are motivated in important part by the claim that only by looking to our reasons to discover our beliefs and desires are we active in relation to them and only thereby do we take responsibility for them. These kinds of account seem to predict that self-knowledge generated using third-personal methods or analogues of these methods will tend to undermine the capacity to exercise self-control. In this light, the insistence by treatment programs that addicts acknowledge that they (...)
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  • On Knowing One's Own Resistant Beliefs.Cristina Borgoni - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):212-225.
    Influential views on self-knowledge presuppose that we cannot come to know a resistant belief in a first-personal way. Two theses support this supposition: if a belief self-ascription is grounded in the evidence of the person holding the belief, it is third-personal and we cannot have first-personal knowledge of beliefs we do not control. I object to both of these theses and argue that we can introspect on beliefs of which we lack control even though we cannot assent to their content.
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  • Self‐Knowledge and Rational Agency: A Defense of Empiricism.Brie Gertler - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):91-109.
    How does one know one's own beliefs, intentions, and other attitudes? Many responses to this question are broadly empiricist, in that they take self-knowledge to be epistemically based in empirical justification or warrant. Empiricism about self-knowledge faces an influential objection: that it portrays us as mere observers of a passing cognitive show, and neglects the fact that believing and intending are things we do, for reasons. According to the competing, agentialist conception of self-knowledge, our capacity for self-knowledge derives from our (...)
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  • Evans on Transparency: A Rationalist Account.Daniel Stoljar - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2067-2085.
    Gareth Evans famously observed that he can answer the question ‘Do you think there is going to be a third world war?’ by attending to “precisely the same outward phenomena as I would attend to if I were answering the question ‘Will there be a third world war?’”. I argue that this observation follows from two independently plausible ideas in philosophy of mind. The first is about rationality and consciousness: it is that to be rational is in part to be (...)
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  • Acting Contrary to Our Professed Beliefs or the Gulf Between Occurrent Judgment and Dispositional Belief.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):531-553.
    People often sincerely assert or judge one thing (for example, that all the races are intellectually equal) while at the same time being disposed to act in a way evidently quite contrary to the espoused attitude (for example, in a way that seems to suggest an implicit assumption of the intellectual superiority of their own race). Such cases should be regarded as ‘in-between’ cases of believing, in which it's neither quite right to ascribe the belief in question nor quite right (...)
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  • Self-Ignorance.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2012 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self. Cambridge University Press.
    Philosophers tend to be pretty impressed by human self-knowledge. Descartes (1641/1984) thought our knowledge of our own stream of experience was the secure and indubitable foundation upon which to build our knowledge of the rest of the world. Hume – who was capable of being skeptical about almost anything – said that the only existences we can be certain of are our own sensory and imagistic experiences (1739/1978, p. 212). Perhaps the most prominent writer on self-knowledge in contemporary philosophy is (...)
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  • Attention and Internal Monitoring: A Farewell to HOP.Wesley Sauret & William G. Lycan - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):363-370.
    Higher-Order Perception (HOP) theories in the philosophy of mind are offered as explanations of what it is that makes a mental state a conscious state. According to HOP, a mental state is conscious just in case it is itself represented in a quasi-perceptual way by an internal monitor or scanning device. We start with one of the more popular objections to HOP and a seemingly innocuous concession to it: identifying the internal monitor with the faculty of attention. We show how (...)
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  • Is There Anything to the Authority Thesis?Wolfgang Barz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Research 43:125-143.
    Many philosophical theories of self-knowledge can be understood as attempts to explain why self-ascriptions enjoy a certain kind of authority that other-ascriptions lack (the Authority Thesis). The aim of this paper is not to expand the stock of existing explanations but to ask whether the Authority Thesis can be adequately specified. To this end, I identify three requirements that must be met by any satisfactory specification. I conclude that the search for an adequate specification of the Authority Thesis leads to (...)
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  • Respuesta a Sebastián: en defensa de la naturaleza de las creencias de primera persona.Javier Vidal - 2018 - Critica 50 (150):65-89.
    En esta revista, argumenté en favor de la naturaleza consciente de las creencias de primera persona. En un artículo más reciente, Miguel Ángel Sebastián trata de mostrar que tal argumento no es sólido. Aquí procedo a lidiar con sus tres críticas principales. En primer lugar, sostengo que el argumento es válido si conocer una creencia de primera persona consiste en creer que uno la tiene. Defiendo también que no hay ninguna regresión al infinito de creencias conscientes de orden superior que (...)
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  • The Transparency Method and Knowing Our Reasons.Sophie Keeling - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):613-621.
    Subjects can know what their attitudes are and also their motivating reasons for those attitudes – for example, S can know that she believes that q and also that she believes that q for the reason that p. One attractive account of self-knowledge of attitudes appeals to the ‘transparency method’. According to TM, subjects answer the question of whether they believe that q by answering the world-directed question of whether q is true. Something similar also looks intuitive in the case (...)
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  • Knowledge Exclusion and the Rationality of Belief.Sean Donahue - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):402-410.
    Two epistemic principles are Knowledge Exclusion and Belief Exclusion. Knowledge Exclusion says that it is necessarily the case that if an agent knows that p, then she does not believe that ∼p, and Belief Exclusion says that it is necessarily the case that if an agent believes that q, then she does not believe that ∼q. Many epistemologists find it reasonable to reject the latter principle and accept the former. I argue that this is in fact not reasonable by proposing (...)
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  • Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, and Confabulation.Hayley F. Webster - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    There are two kinds of epistemic theories about self-knowledge: the traditional account, and the inferentialist account. According to the traditional view of self-knowledge, we have privileged access to our propositional attitudes. “Privileged access” means that one can gain knowledge of one’s own propositional attitudes directly via an exclusive, first-personal method called introspection. On the other hand, the inferentialist view of self-knowledge postulates that we don’t have privileged access to our propositional attitudes and must infer or self-attribute them instead. In this (...)
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  • Knowing What One Believes – In Defense of a Dispositional Reliabilist Extrospective Account.Michael Roche - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):365-379.
    We seem to enjoy a special kind of access to our beliefs. We seem able to know about them via a distinctively first-personal method, and such knowledge seems epistemically superior to any knowledge that others might attain of our beliefs. This paper defends a novel account of this access. The account is extrospective in that it explains this access in terms of our ability to think about the (non-mental) world. Moreover, it does not require the contentious claim that judging that (...)
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