Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517-536 (2007)
|Abstract||We often form beliefs about our own mental states. I believe that I have political beliefs of a certain kind. Perhaps you believe that you want to eat fish for lunch. Most of us have believed, at some moment or other, that we were in love. Let us call beliefs of this kind ‘self-ascriptions’ of mental states. Self- ascriptions normally enjoy a special kind of epistemic justification when the self-ascribed mental state is of a certain type, such as a belief or a desire. Our justification for self-ascriptions of those mental stases seems to be, in some way, privileged or authoritative. In the philosophical literature, this idea is often expressed by saying that we have privileged access to our own mental states, or that our self-ascriptions constitute self-knowledge. The goal of this discussion will be to account for that fact. I will concentrate on privileged access to our own desires.[ii].|
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