Chapter

Introduction: The Special Security of Some “I” Talk

Dorit Bar-On

in Speaking My Mind

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276288
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602894 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199276285.003.0001
Introduction: The Special Security of Some “I” Talk

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Introduces the primary problem to be dealt with in the book, namely, how to account for the special security of some first-personal ascriptions of mental states (’avowals’). Relatedly, the book aims to answer whether avowals constitute privileged self-knowledge of mental states, and generally, what such knowledge might consist of. What’s more, the author wants to answer these questions while retaining the view that, though avowals exhibit epistemic asymmetries with other ascriptions, they are also ’semantically continuous’ with ordinary empirical reports (as against the Wittgensteinian expressivist view that fully assimilates an avowal like ’I’m in pain’ to mere crying). The chapter then lists a number of desiderata on an adequate view of avowals’ special security, and ends with an overall plan of the book, and a few terminological notes.

Keywords: avowals; self-knowledge; semantic continuity; special security

Chapter.  10356 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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