Die Transparenz des Geistes

Berlin: Suhrkamp (2012)
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The key message of this book is that we come to know our own mental states, not by peering inward, but by focusing on the aspects of the external world to which we are intentionally related in virtue of having the mental states in question. Though many philosophers think that the idea of transparency, as it is called, may apply to self-knowledge of some mental states, it is often regarded as hopeless to widen its scope to self-knowledge of mental states in general—for it seems that not all mental states make us aware of aspects of the external world. Barz rejects this view and take pains to show that the idea of transparency does apply across the board: not only to beliefs and visual experiences, but also to desires, intentions, bodily sensations and emotions. For this purpose, Barz carefully rethinks the nature of mind. He thereby develops, among other things, an original account of episodic mental states, challenges the orthodox view of propositional content and presents an account of emotions which integrates aspects of both cognitivist and non-cognitivist approaches.

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Wolfgang Barz
Goethe University Frankfurt


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