The mechanics of self-knowledge

Philosophical Topics 28 (2):125-46 (2000)
It is often said that we can know our own thoughts more directly or with more certainty than anyone else can know them. And this disparity is usually taken to be principled, in that we would not be the rational, reflective beings that we are without it. My aim is to trace the consequences of a principled disparity between self-knowledge and other-knowledge for what may be termed the “mechanics ” of self-knowledge . I use a new thought experiment to show that if introspective states are merely causally related to introspected thoughts, the disparity between self-knowledge and other-knowledge is not truly principled. An account of self-knowledge adequate to a truly principled disparity will allow that thought tokens can be.
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