Reason and the past: The role of rationality in diachronic self-knowledge

Synthese 145 (3):467-495 (2005)

Krista Lawlor
Stanford University
  Knowing one’s past thoughts and attitudes is a vital sort of self-knowledge. In the absence of memorial impressions to serve as evidence, we face a pressing question of how such self-knowledge is possible. Recently, philosophers of mind have argued that self-knowledge of past attitudes supervenes on rationality. I examine two kinds of argument for this supervenience claim, one from cognitive dynamics, and one from practical rationality, and reject both. I present an alternative account, on which knowledge of past attitudes is inferential knowledge, and depends upon contingent facts of one’s rationality and consistency. Failures of self-knowledge are better explained by the inferential account
Keywords Diachronic  Epistemology  Inference  Past  Rationality  Self-knowledge  Supervenience
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-005-6220-3
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
First-Person Access.Sydney Shoemaker - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:187-214.
Is Introspective Knowledge Incorrigible?D. M. Armstrong - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (4):417.
Moore's Paradox and Self-Knowledge.Sydney Shoemaker - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):211-28.

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Imitative Reasoning.Mariam Thalos - 2009 - Social Epistemology 23 (3):381-405.

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