The Authority of Reflection

Abstract
This paper examines Moran’s argument for the special authority of the first-person, which revolves around the Self/Other asymmetry and grounds dichotomies such as the practical vs. theoretical, activity vs. passivity, and justificatory vs. explanatory reasons. These dichotomies qualify the self-reflective person as an agent, interested in justifying her actions from a deliberative stance. The Other is pictured as a spectator interested in explaining action from a theoretical stance. The self-reflective knower has authority over her own mental states, while the Spectator does not. I highlight the implications of this construal for a theory of action, and call attention onto some other interesting normative relations between the self-reflective agent and the Other that escape both the first-person and the third-person approach. My contention is that the authority of self-reflection (and of reason) is best understood as a relation of mutual recognition between self and others, hence from a second-person stance
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