Transparency and Knowledge of One's Own Perceptions

Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 25:65-67 (2017)
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Abstract

So-called "transparency theories" of self-knowledge, inspired by a remark of Gareth Evans, claim that we can obtain knowledge of our own beliefs by directing out attention towards the world, rather than introspecting the contents of our own minds. Most recent transparency theories concentrate on the case of self-knowledge concerning belief and desires. But can a transparency account be generalised to knowledge of one's own perceptions? In a recent paper, Alex Byrne (2012) argues that we can know what we see by inferring from visual facts about our environment because such facts can exclusively be known by us through vision. I discuss his proposal and object that visual facts, as conceived of by Byrne, are odd: they cannot be remembered and we cannot, as yet, write them down. More needs to be said about them to make his account plausible.

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Martin Francisco Fricke
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

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