David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In R. Stanton, M. Ezcurdia & C. Viger (eds.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 30. University of Calgary Press (2004)
The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmental psychology.1 The attack from developmental psychology arises from the growing body of work on “mindreading”, the process of attributing mental states to people (and other organisms). During the last 15 years, the processes underlying mindreading have been a major focus of attention in cognitive and developmental psychology. Most of this work has been concerned with the processes underlying the attribution of mental states to other people. However, a number of psychologists and philosophers have also proposed accounts of the mechanisms underlying the attribution of mental states to oneself. This process of reading one’s own mind or becoming self-aware will be our primary concern in this paper.
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