Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self‐Knowledge

Christopher Peacocke

in Knowing Our Own Minds

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780199241408
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598692 | DOI:
 Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self‐Knowledge

Show Summary Details


The paper argues that our self‐ascription of occurent psychological attitudes is consciously based. It rejects the trichotomy that considers self‐knowledge to be accounted for, by observation, by inference, or by nothing. Instead, conscious attitudes provide the thinker with a reason for self‐ascribing an attitude to the content that occurs to the thinker, when in possession of the relevant concepts. Developing this account for the case of belief, a conscious belief is shown to provide the thinker with a reason to self‐ascribe to it because of the role such states play in the possession conditions for the concept of belief. The conscious attitudes appealed to in the account must be characterized independently of their self‐ascription, and a number of rival accounts of consciousness are rejected. In addition, the paper examines the relations between consciouness and attention by exploring the notion of a conscious thought as occupying the thinker's attention.

Keywords: attention; conscious attitudes; no‐reasons view; possession conditions; Shoemaker

Chapter.  16088 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.