Constitutive theories of self-knowledge and the regress problem

Philosophical Papers 32 (2):141-48 (2003)
Abstract
Abstract In the contemporary literature on self-knowledge discussion is framed by and large by two competing models of self-knowledge: the observational (or perceptual) model and the constitutive model. On the observational model self-knowledge is the result of ?cognitively viewing? one's mental states. Constitutive theories of self-knowledge, on the other hand, hold that self-knowledge is constitutive of intentional states. That is, self-ascription is a necessary condition for being in a particular mental state. Akeel Bilgrami is a defender of the constitutive model. I argue that the constitutive model gives rise to a regress problem. This paper will focus on that problem as well as its application to Bilgrami's version of the constitutive model
Keywords Constitutive  Epistemology  Observation  Regress  Self-knowledge
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