Reasons and Self-Knowledge

Conor McHugh

in The Self and Self-Knowledge

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590650
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741043 | DOI:
Reasons and Self-Knowledge

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This chapter defends the ‘reasons account’ of self‐knowledge. This is an epistemologically internalist account, according to which certain conscious states and episodes can give their subjects reasons to self-ascribe corresponding propositional attitudes to their contents. It has been objected that conscious states and episodes can function as reasons for self-ascriptions only if subjects already have a kind of access to those states and episodes that amounts to self‐knowledge. The chapter shows, first, that one aspect of this worry for the account can be avoided if we take a certain view of consciousness and of phenomenology. Second, it offers a positive explanation of how conscious states and episodes can give genuine internalist reasons for self-ascriptions, without circularity. Various kinds of epistemological internalism are distinguished, and an internalist conception of epistemic warrant is developed that may have much broader application.

Keywords: self-knowledge; epistemology; internalism; reasons; consciousness; phenomenology; Peacocke; Coliva

Chapter.  12681 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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