Knowing Our Own Minds

Edited by Crispin Wright, Barry C. Smith and Cynthia Macdonald

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780199241408
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598692 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Knowing Our Own Minds

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Self‐knowledge is the focus of considerable attention from philosophers, and a topic of special relevance to a broad range of issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. This volume provides an important overview of recent work on the subject by bringing together original essays by a number of philosophers. Many of the papers have become standard reference items in this literature.

Knowledge of one's own thoughts and sensations, beliefs and desires, intentions and meanings is characteristically different from knowledge of others’ minds: it is typically immediate, authoritative, and salient. The first six chapters examine philosophical questions raised by these features of self‐knowledge. The next two chapters look at the role of our knowledge of our own psychological states in our functioning as rational agents. The third group of chapters examine the prima facie tension between the distinctive characteristics of self‐knowledge and philosophical claims that mental content is externally determined by social and environmental conditions. The last two chapters extend the discussion to knowledge of what one means in speaking a language.

Keywords: avowals; Cartesianism; externalism; first‐person authority; inner states; introspection; mental states; privileged access; self‐ascription; self‐knowledge

Book.  460 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Knowing Our Own Minds


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