Res Philosophica 98 (1):23-42 (2021)

Authors
Benjamin Winokur
York University
Abstract
Alex Byrne (2005; 2011a; 2011b; 2018) has argued that we can gain self-knowledge of our current mental states through the use of a transparency method. A transparency method provides an extrospective rather than introspective route to self-knowledge. For example, one comes to know whether one believes P not by thinking about oneself but by considering the world-directed question of whether P is true. According to Byrne, this psychological process consists in drawing inferences from world-directed propositions to mind-directed conclusions. In this article, I consider whether this ‘Inferential Transparency Method’ can provide us with the self-knowledge that some philosophers have thought we require in order to “critically reason” (Burge 1996), and I conclude that it cannot provide such self-knowledge. The force of this objection depends on how much stock we should place in our status as critical reasoners. However, I conclude by suggesting a more general worry for Byrne’s account.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Self-Knowledge  Critical Reasoning  Transparency Methods  Transparency to the World  Inference  Taking Condition on Inference
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DOI 10.11612/resphil.1967
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Self-Knowledge and the Transparency of Belief.Brie Gertler - 2011 - In Anthony Hatzimoysis (ed.), Self-Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
Two Kinds of Self‐Knowledge.Matthew Boyle - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):133-164.
First Person Authority.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Dialectica 38 (2‐3):101-112.

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