Philosophical Issues 29 (1):241-253 (2019)

Joseph Shieber
Lafayette College
Ernest Sosa has suggested that we distinguish between animal knowledge, on the one hand, and reflective knowledge, on the other. Animal knowledge is direct, immediate, and foundationally structured, while reflective knowledge involves a knower's higher‐order awareness of her own mental states, and is structured by relations of coherence. Although Sosa's distinction is extremely appealing, it also faces serious problems. In particular, the sorts of processes that would be required for reflective knowledge, as Sosa understands it, are not processes that are instantiated in human cognition. I argue that the problems facing Sosa's notion of reflective knowledge stem from treating human cognitive processes individualistically. They stem from what I will term Sosa's perspective of methodologically individualistic noetic explanation—or MINE. I suggest that these problems disappear if we expand the scope of what counts as cognitive processes to include socially distributed cognitive processes, if we adopt a framework of other‐derived united reflective self‐evaluation—or OURS. In other words, I'll suggest that a solution to the problems facing the distinction between animal and reflective knowledge may be found in a shift of perspective from MINE to OURS.
Keywords knowledge  reflective knowledge  testimony  socially distributed cognition  reflection  metacognition
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DOI 10.1111/phis.12151
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Knowing Full Well.Ernest Sosa - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Stranger Than Fiction: Costs and Benefits of Everyday Confabulation.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):227-249.
Ironic Processes of Mental Control.Daniel M. Wegner - 1994 - Psychological Review 101 (1):34-52.

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