Erkenntnis 56 (3):269-296 (2002)

Karsten Stueber
College of the Holy Cross
This article develops a constitutive account of self-knowledge that is able to avoid certain shortcomings of the standard response to the perceived prima facie incompatibility between privileged self-knowledge and externalism. It argues that if one conceives of linguistic action as voluntary behavior in a minimal sense, one cannot conceive of belief content to be externalistically constituted without simultaneously assuming that the agent has knowledge of his beliefs. Accepting such a constitutive account of self-knowledge does not, however, preclude the conceptual possibility of being mistaken about one's mental states. Rather, self-knowledge has to be seen as only a general constraint or as the default assumption of interpreting somebody as a rational and intentional agent. This is compatible with the diagnosis of a localized lack of self-transparency.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1016383803533
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