Self-knowledge and rationality

Erkenntnis 71 (1):73 - 88 (2009)

Abstract
The topic of this article is the dependency or, maybe, the interdependency of rationality and self-knowledge. Here two questions may be distinguished, viz. (1) whether being rational is a necessary condition for a creature to have self-knowledge, and (2) whether having self-knowledge is a necessary condition for a creature to be rational. After a brief explication of what I mean by self-knowledge, I deal with the first question. There I defend the Davidsonian position, according to which rationality is, indeed, a necessary condition for self-knowledge. In addition, I distinguish two aspects of rationality which I call basic and local rationality. After that I concentrate on the second question for the remaining larger part of this article. Here I proceed in two stages: first I examine whether self-knowledge is necessary for basic rationality, and then whether it is necessary for local rationality.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-009-9174-x
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The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.
Conditions of Personhood.Daniel C. Dennett - 1976 - In Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons. University of California Press.

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