David O. Brink

in Perfectionism and the Common Good

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199266401
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600906 | DOI:

Series: Lines of Thought


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  • History of Western Philosophy


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This chapter focuses on Green's arguments linking knowledge and self-consciousness via epistemic responsibility. Green argues that knowledge requires self-consciousness, inasmuch as epistemic responsibility seems to presuppose self-consciousness. For epistemic responsibility requires a cognizer to be able to distinguish and distance an appearance from herself, to frame the question of whether she should assent to the appearance, and to assess the reasons for assent by relating this appearance to other elements of her consciousness. Any extended piece of reasoning requires consciousness of different appearances as parts of a single system. For instance, I recognize and trust the results of previous deliberations as premises in my present deliberations. All this requires a self that is conscious of and synthesizes a set of appearances. On this view, knowledge presupposes epistemic responsibility, which presupposes self-consciousness.

Keywords: T. H. Green; knowledge; self; self-conciousness; epistemic responsibility

Chapter.  464 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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