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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. The Lycan–Stich Argument and the Plasticity of “Belief”.Krzysztof Poslajko - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1257-1273.
    The aim of this paper is to argue against the claim that the term “belief”, as it functions in philosophical psychology, has natural-kind term semantics; this thesis is central to the famous Lycan–Stich argument against eliminative materialism. I will argue that the current debate concerning the discrepancy between the professed opinions and actions, especially the debate concerning the idea of aliefs, shows that the concept of belief is plastic and amenable to conceptual engineering. The plasticity and amenability to conceptual engineering (...)
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  • The Limits of the Doxastic.Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas - 2022 - In Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 36-57.
    It is usual to distinguish between two kinds of doxastic attitude: standing or dispositional states, which govern our actions and persist throughout changes in consciousness; and conscious episodes of acknowledging the truth of a proposition. What is the relationship between these two kinds of attitude? Normally, the conscious episodes are in harmony with the underlying dispositions, but sometimes they come apart and we act in a way that is contrary to our explicit conscious judgements. Philosophers have often tried to explain (...)
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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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  • The Self Shows Up in Experience.Matt Duncan - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (2):299-318.
    I can be aware of myself, and thereby come to know things about myself, in a variety of different ways. But is there some special way in which I—and only I—can learn about myself? Can I become aware of myself by introspecting? Do I somehow show up in my own conscious experiences? David Hume and most contemporary philosophers say no. They deny that the self shows up in experience. However, in this paper I appeal to research on schizophrenia—on thought insertion, (...)
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  • The Value of Privileged Access.Jared Peterson - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):365-378.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Expression and the Transparency of Belief.Ángel García Rodríguez - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):136-147.
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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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  • Introspective Knowledge by Acquaintance.Anna Giustina - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Introspective knowledge by acquaintance is knowledge we have by being directly aware of our phenomenally conscious states. In this paper, I argue that introspective knowledge by acquaintance is a sui generis kind of knowledge: it is irreducible to any sort of propositional knowledge and is wholly constituted by a relationship of introspective acquaintance. My main argument is that this is the best explanation of some epistemic facts about phenomenal consciousness and introspection. In particular, it best explains the epistemic asymmetry between (...)
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  • Perception From the First‐Person Perspective.Robert J. Howell - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):187-213.
    This paper develops a view of the content of perceptual states that reflects the cognitive significance those states have for the subject. Perhaps the most important datum for such a theory is the intuition that experiences are ‘transparent’, an intuition promoted by philosophers as diverse as Sartre and Dretske. This paper distinguishes several different transparency theses, and considers which ones are truly supported by the phenomenological data. It is argued that the only thesis supported by the data is much weaker (...)
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  • Kant’s “I Think” and the Agential Approach to Self-Knowledge.Houston Smit - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (7):980-1011.
    ABSTRACTThis paper relates Kant’s account of pure apperception to the agential approach to self-knowledge. It argues that his famous claim ‘The I think must be able to accompany all of my represent...
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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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  • Transparency, Belief, Intention.Alex Byrne - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85:201-21.
    This paper elaborates and defends a familiar ‘transparent’ account of knowledge of one's own beliefs, inspired by some remarks of Gareth Evans, and makes a case that the account can be extended to mental states in general, in particular to knowledge of one's intentions.
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  • Dualism all the way down: why there is no paradox of phenomenal judgment.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Epiphenomenalist dualists hold that certain physical states give rise to non-physical conscious experiences, but that these non-physical experiences are themselves causally inefficacious. Among the most pressing challenges facing epiphenomenalists is the so-called “paradox of phenomenal judgment”, which challenges epiphenomenalism’s ability to account for our knowledge of our own conscious experiences. According to this objection, we lack knowledge of the very thing that epiphenomenalists take physicalists to be unable to explain. By developing an epiphenomenalist theory of subjects and mental states, this (...)
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  • 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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  • ‘‘In My ‘Mind’s Eye’: Introspectionism, Detectivism, and the Basis of Authoritative Self-Knowledge.Cynthia Macdonald - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15).
    It is widely accepted that knowledge of certain of one’s own mental states is authoritative in being epistemically more secure than knowledge of the mental states of others, and theories of self-knowledge have largely appealed to one or the other of two sources to explain this special epistemic status. The first, ‘detectivist’, position, appeals to an inner perception-like basis, whereas the second, ‘constitutivist’, one, appeals to the view that the special security awarded to certain self-knowledge is a conceptual matter. I (...)
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  • Recent Issues in High-Level Perception.Grace Helton - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):851-862.
    Recently, several theorists have proposed that we can perceive a range of high-level features, including natural kind features (e.g., being a lemur), artifactual features (e.g., being a mandolin), and the emotional features of others (e.g., being surprised). I clarify the claim that we perceive high-level features and suggest one overlooked reason this claim matters: it would dramatically expand the range of actions perception-based theories of action might explain. I then describe the influential phenomenal contrast method of arguing for high-level perception (...)
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  • Dissonance and Moorean Propositions.Cristina Borgoni - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):107-127.
    In a dissonance case, a person sincerely and with conviction asserts that P, while her overall automatic behaviour suggests that she believes that not-P. In contrast with several mainstream views, this paper defends the contradictory-belief view of some relevant dissonance cases and explores its consequences regarding Moorean propositions. The paper argues that in relevant cases, the dissonant person is justified in asserting a Moorean proposition on the grounds of her explicit view on the subject matter and the recognition of her (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Reasoning, Rational Requirements, and Occurrent Attitudes.Wooram Lee - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1343-1357.
    This paper explores the sense in which rational requirements govern our attitudes like belief and intention. I argue that there is a tension between the idea that rational requirements govern attitudes understood as standing states and the attractive idea that we can directly satisfy the requirements by performing reasoning. I identify the tension by (a) illustrating how a dispositional conception of belief can cause trouble for the idea that we can directly revise our attitudes through reasoning by considering John Broome's (...)
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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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  • Knowing Why.Ryan Cox - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (2):177-197.
    In this essay, I argue that we have a non-inferential way of knowing particular explanations of our own actions and attitudes. I begin by explicating and evaluating Nisbett and Wilson’s influential argument to the contrary. I argue that Nisbett and Wilson’s claim that we arrive at such explanations of our own actions and attitudes by inference is not adequately supported by their findings because they overlook an important alternative explanation of those findings. I explicate and defend such an alternative explanation (...)
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  • Knowing Our Reasons: Distinctive Self‐Knowledge of Why We Hold Our Attitudes and Perform Actions.Sophie Keeling - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):318-341.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  • The Evil Demon Inside.Nicholas Silins - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):325-343.
    This paper examines how new evil demon problems could arise for our access to the internal world of our own minds. I start by arguing that the internalist/externalist debate in epistemology has been widely misconstrued---we need to reconfigure the debate in order to see how it can arise about our access to the internal world. I then argue for the coherence of scenarios of radical deception about our own minds, and I use them to defend a properly formulated internalist view (...)
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  • Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
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  • Transparency and Partial Beliefs.Weng Hong Tang - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):153-166.
    How should we account for self-knowledge of our inner lives? Some have argued that just as we have various senses that allow us to perceive the environment, we have an inner sense that allows us to perceive our inner lives. But others find such a view implausible and think that there are other ways to account for self-knowledge. With respect to all-or-nothing beliefs, some have held that we may account for self-knowledge by appealing to the claim that such beliefs are (...)
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  • Extended Belief and Extended Knowledge.Åsa Wikforss - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):460-481.
    The paper discusses the thesis of extended belief and its implications for the possibility of extending ordinary, personal level knowledge. A common worry is that knowledge will overextend, that there will be ‘cognitive bloat’. If the subject’s standing beliefs can be realized in devices such as notebooks and smart phones, what is there to prevent the conclusion that she knows everything stored on such devices? One response to this worry is to block the move from belief to knowledge, and argue (...)
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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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  • Semantic Knowledge, Semantic Guidance, and Kripke's Wittgenstein.Derek Green - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):186-206.
    Saul Kripke's influential ‘sceptical paradox’ of semantic rule-following alleges that speakers cannot have any justification for using a word one way rather than another. If it is correct, there can be no such thing as meaning anything by a word. I argue that the paradox fails to undermine meaning. Kripke never adequately motivates its excessively strict standard for the justified use of words. The paradox lacks the resources to show that its standard is truly mandatory or that speakers do not (...)
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  • You Meta Believe It.Neil Levy - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):814-826.
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  • Changing One's Mind: Self‐Conscious Belief and Rational Endorsement.Adam Leite - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):150-171.
    Self-consciously attempting to shape one's beliefs through deliberation and reasoning requires that one stand in a relation to those beliefs that might be signaled by saying that one must inhabit one's beliefs as one's own view. What does this amount to? A broad swath of philosophical thinking about self-knowledge, norms of belief, self-consciousness, and related areas assumes that this relation requires one to endorse, or be rationally committed to endorsing, one's beliefs. In fact, however, fully self-conscious adherence to epistemic norms (...)
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  • Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine silently accepting this claim. Then you believe both that it is raining and that you don’t believe that it is raining. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to believe,yet what you believe might be true. Itmight be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to believe something about yourself that might be (...)
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  • Transparency and the KK Principle.Nilanjan Das & Bernhard Salow - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):3-23.
    An important question in epistemology is whether the KK principle is true, i.e., whether an agent who knows that p is also thereby in a position to know that she knows that p. We explain how a “transparency” account of self-knowledge, which maintains that we learn about our attitudes towards a proposition by reflecting not on ourselves but rather on that very proposition, supports an affirmative answer. In particular, we show that such an account allows us to reconcile a version (...)
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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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  • The Normativity of Automaticity.Alex Madva Michael Brownstein - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):410-434.
    While the causal contributions of so‐called ‘automatic’ processes to behavior are now widely acknowledged, less attention has been given to their normative role in the guidance of action. We develop an account of the normativity of automaticity that responds to and builds upon Tamar Szabó Gendler's account of ‘alief’, an associative and arational mental state more primitive than belief. Alief represents a promising tool for integrating psychological research on automaticity with philosophical work on mind and action, but Gendler errs in (...)
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  • Dissonance and Irrationality: A Criticism of The In‐Between Account of Dissonance Cases.Cristina Borgoni - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):48-57.
    In a dissonance case, a person sincerely and with conviction asserts that P, while his/her overall automatic behavior suggests that he/she believes that not-P. According to Schwitzgebel, this is a case of in-between believing. This article raises several concerns about Schwitzgebel's account and proposes an alternative view. I argue that the in-between approach yields incorrect results in belief self-ascriptions and does not capture the psychological conflict underlying the individual's dissonance. I advance the view that in relevant cases the dissonant individual (...)
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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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  • The Two Selves: Their Metaphysical Commitments and Functional Independence.Stan Klein - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    The Two Selves takes the position that the self is not a "thing" easily reduced to an object of scientific analysis. Rather, the self consists in a multiplicity of aspects, some of which have a neuro-cognitive basis (and thus are amenable to scientific inquiry) while other aspects are best construed as first-person subjectivity, lacking material instantiation. As a consequence of their potential immateriality, the subjective aspect of self cannot be taken as an object and therefore is not easily amenable to (...)
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  • Unendorsed Beliefs.Cristina Borgoni - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):49-68.
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  • ¿BEL o Bypass? Dos teorías de la transparencia del autoconocimiento.Martin Francisco Fricke - 2020 - Tópicos. Revista de Filosofía 59:11-50.
    Alex Byrne and Jordi Fernández propose two different versions of a transparency theory of self-knowledge. According to Byrne, we self-attribute beliefs by an inference from what we take to be facts about the world (following a rule he calls BEL). According to Fernández, we self-attribute the belief that p on the basis of a prior mental state, a state which constitutes our grounds for the belief that p (thereby realizing a procedure he calls Bypass). In this paper, I present the (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Infallibility, Acquaintance, and Phenomenal Concepts.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):139-168.
    In recent literature, there is a strong tendency to endorse the following argument: There are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible; if there are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible, then the infallibility of those judgments is due to the relation of acquaintance; therefore, acquaintance explains why those particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences are infallible. The aim of this paper is to examine critically both the first and the second premise (...)
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  • 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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  • Just Another Article on Moore’s Paradox, But We Don’T Believe That.Iskra Fileva & Linda A. W. Brakel - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5153-5167.
    We present counterexamples to the widespread assumption that Moorean sentences cannot be rationally asserted. We then explain why Moorean assertions of the sort we discuss do not incur the irrationality charge. Our argument involves an appeal to the dual-process theory of the mind and a contrast between the conditions for ascribing beliefs to oneself and the conditions for making assertions about independently existing states of affairs. We conclude by contrasting beliefs of the sort we discuss with the structurally similar but (...)
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  • Knowledge of Moral Incapacity.Ryan Cox - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-23.
    Are the limits on what we can do, morally speaking—our “moral incapacities” as Bernard Williams calls them—imposed on us from within, by reason itself, or from without, by something other than reason? Do they perhaps have their source in the will, as opposed to reason? In this essay, I argue for a theory of moral incapacity on which our moral incapacities have their source in reason itself. The theory is defended on the grounds that it provides the best explanation of (...)
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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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  • How to Know One’s Experiences Transparently.Frank Hofmann - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    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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  • A Puzzle About Desire.Jared Peterson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3655-3676.
    This paper develops a novel puzzle about desire consisting of three independently plausible but jointly inconsistent propositions: all desires are dispositional states, we have privileged access to some of our desires, and we do not have privileged access to any dispositional state. Proponents of the view that all desires are dispositional states might think the most promising way out of this puzzle is to deny. I argue, however, that such attempts fail because the most plausible accounts of self-knowledge of desires (...)
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  • On Doubt.Matthew Lee - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):141-158.
    Despite the prominence of doubt in philosophy since Descartes, the published philosophical literature includes no extended treatment of the nature of doubt. In this paper, I summarize the main contributions that have been made to the subject and then develop a commonsense functionalist account of doubt by specifying the functional role of doubt that something is the case. After adding two further wrinkles, I show how the resulting account can be used to address the questions of how doubt is related (...)
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