Erkenntnis 71 (1):123 - 139 (2009)

Christoph Jäger
University of Innsbruck
According to one of the most influential views in the philosophy of self-knowledge each person enjoys some special cognitive access to his or her own current mental states and episodes. This view faces two fundamental tasks. First, it must elucidate the general conceptual structure of apparent asymmetries between beliefs about one’s own mind and beliefs about other minds. Second, it must demarcate the mental territory for which first-person-special-access claims can plausibly be maintained. Traditional candidates include sensations, experiences (of various kinds), thoughts, beliefs, desires, and also affective states such as emotions. I reconstruct five prominent privileged access claims that have traditionally been maintained for emotions and discuss logical relations among them. I then argue that none of these claims stands up to scrutiny. The truth is that we often suffer from affective ignorance, and that third-person ascriptions of emotional states should often be credited with more rather than less authority than corresponding self-ascriptions. I conclude by considering, and rejecting, five potential objections to my argument.
Keywords emotion  feeling  affect  privileged access  incorrigibility  first-person authority  transparency  introspection  anti-luminosity  self-knowledge
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-009-9171-0
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References found in this work BETA

Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Knowing One’s Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
The Passions.Robert C. Solomon - 1976 - University of Notre Dame Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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