Self-Knowledge of Desire: When Inference Is Not Enough

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (4):381-398 (2022)
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According to inferentialism about self-knowledge of desire, the basic way in which we come to know what we want is through inference. In this paper, I argue that in a wide range of cases of knowing one’s desire, inference is insufficient. In particular, I look at two inferentialist models, one proposed by Krista Lawlor and the other by Alex Byrne and look at the challenges that they face in securing safe self-ascriptions. In response to these difficulties, I argue that we can explain how inferentially based self-ascriptions can be safe when we consider the agent’s role in sustaining their desires through attending and elaborating on the content of desire through imagination.



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Uku Tooming
University of Tartu

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References found in this work

Précis of Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self‐Knowledge.Richard Moran - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):423-426.
Knowledge Under Threat.Tomas Bogardus - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):289-313.
Introspection.Alex Byrne - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (1):79-104.

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