Transparency or Opacity of Mind?

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Abstract
Self-knowledge presents a challenge for naturalistic theories of mind. Peter Carruthers’s (2011) approach to this challenge is Rylean: He argues that we know our own propositional attitudes because we (unconsciously) interpret ourselves, just as we have to interpret others in order to know theirs’. An alternative approach, opposed by Carruthers, is to argue that we do have a special access to our own beliefs, but that this is a natural consequence of our reasoning capacity. This is the approach of transparency theories of self-knowledge, neatly encapsulated in Byrne’s epistemic rule (BEL): If p, believe that you believe that p (Byrne 2005). In this paper, I examine an objection to Carruthers’s theory in order to see whether it opens up space for a transparency theory of self-knowledge: Is it not the case that in order to interpret someone I have to have some direct access to what I believe (cf. Friedman and Petrashek 2009)?
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Archival date: 2014-08-23
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2014-08-24

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