Discrimination and Self-Knowledge

In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press (2012)
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Abstract

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 also the claim that introspection is infallible with respect to our core mental states (where a belief that C obtains is infallible just in case if one believes that C obtains then C obtains). The upshot is a broader and much more powerful case against the Cartesian conception of the mental than has been advanced hitherto.

Author's Profile

Patrick Greenough
University of St. Andrews

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