The Epistemic Approach to Avowals' Security: Introspection and Transparency

Dorit Bar-On

in Speaking My Mind

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276288
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602894 | DOI:
The Epistemic Approach to Avowals' Security: Introspection and Transparency

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This chapter explains and criticizes two contemporary accounts of the Epistemic Asymmetry between avowals and other empirical reports. First, the introspectionist view suggests that the security of avowals is because of the operation of a mechanism for ‘tracking’ our own mental states. Secondly, a view offered by Richard Moran argues that avowals of propositional attitudes are marked by a special feature: their ‘transparency-to-the-world’. When a subject avows ’I believe its raining’, she says something about her mental state, but in her assessment she directs her attention to the world rather than events ’internal’ to her. Although both introspectionism and Moran’s view respect Semantic Continuity, the author argues that they fail to accommodate Epistemic Asymmetry in its full scope.

Keywords: epistemic security of avowals; introspection; transparency-to-the-world

Chapter.  23013 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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