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Alan Thomas [66]Alan Price Thomas [1]Alan Berkeley Thomas [1]Alan M. Thomas [1]
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Alan Thomas
University of York
  1.  61
    Rawls and Political Realism: Realistic Utopianism or Judgement in Bad Faith?Alan Thomas - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):304-324.
    Political realism criticises the putative abstraction, foundationalism and neglect of the agonistic dimension of political practice in the work of John Rawls. This paper argues that had Rawls not fully specified the implementation of his theory of justice in one particular form of political economy then he would be vulnerable to a realist critique. But he did present such an implementation: a property-owning democracy. An appreciation of Rawls s specificationist method undercuts the realist critique of his conception of justice as (...)
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  2.  16
    Republic of Equals: Predistribution and Property-Owning Democracy.Alan Thomas - 2017 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The first book length study of property-owning democracy, Republic of Equals argues that a society in which capital is universally accessible to all citizens is uniquely placed to meet the demands of justice. Arguing from a basis in liberal-republican principles, this expanded conception of the economic structure of society contextualizes the market to make its transactions fair. The author shows that a property-owning democracy structures economic incentives such that the domination of one agent by another in the market is structurally (...)
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  3.  4
    Republic of Equals: Predistribution and Property-Owning Democracy.Alan Thomas - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    The first book-length study of property-owning democracy, Republic of Equals, argues that a society in which capital is universally accessible to all citizens is uniquely placed to meet the demands of justice. Arguing from a basis in liberal-republican principles, this expanded conception of the economic structure of society contextualizes the market to make its transactions fair. It shows that a property-owning democracy structures economic incentives such that the domination of one agent by another in the market is structurally impossible. The (...)
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  4.  36
    Value and Context: The Nature of Moral and Political Knowledge.Alan Thomas - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    In Value and Context Alan Thomas articulates and defends the view that human beings do possess moral and political knowledge but it is historically and culturally contextual knowledge in ways that, say, mathematical or chemical knowledge is not. In his exposition of "cognitive contextualism" in ethics and politics he makes wide-ranging use of contemporary work in epistemology, moral philosophy, and political theory.
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  5. Cohen's Critique of Rawls: A Double Counting Objection.Alan Thomas - 2011 - Mind 120 (480):1099-1141.
    This paper assesses G. A. Cohen's critique of Rawlsian special incentives. Two arguments are identified and criticized: an argument that the difference principle does not justify incentives because of a limitation on an agent's prerogative to depart from a direct promotion of the interests of the worst off, and an argument that justice is limited in its scope. The first argument is evaluated and defended from the criticism that once Cohen has conceded some ethically grounded special incentives he cannot sustain (...)
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  6. Another Particularism: Reasons, Status and Defaults. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):151-167.
    This paper makes the non-monotonicity of a wide range of moral reasoning the basis of a case for particularism. Non-monotonicity threatens practical decision with an overwhelming informational complexity to which a form of ethical generalism seems the best response. It is argued that this impression is wholly misleading: the fact of non-monotonicity is best accommodated by the defence of four related theses in any theory of justification. First, the explanation of and defence of a default/challenge model of justification. Secondly, the (...)
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  7.  86
    Reasonable Partiality and the Agent’s Point of View.Alan Thomas - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1-2):25-43.
    It is argued that reasonable partiality allows an agent to attach value to particular objects of attachment via recognition of the value of the holding of that relation between agent and object. The reasonableness of partiality is ensured by a background context set by the agent's virtues, notably justice. It is argued that reasonable partiality is the only view that is compatible with our best account of the nature of self-knowledge. That account rules out any instrumental relationship between moral demands (...)
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  8.  94
    The Genealogy of Epistemic Virtue Concepts.Alan Thomas - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):345-369.
    Abstract This paper examines the treatment of thick ethical concepts in Williams's work in order to evaluate the consistency of his treatment of ethical and epistemic concepts and to assess whether the idea of a thick concept can be extended from ethics to epistemology. A virtue epistemology is described modeled on a cognitivist virtue ethics. Williams's genealogy of the virtues surrounding propositional knowledge (the virtues of ?truthfulness?) is critically evaluated. It is concluded that this genealogy is an important contribution to (...)
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  9. An Adverbial Theory of Consciousness.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):161-85.
    This paper develops an adverbial theory of consciousness. Adverbialism is described and endorsed and defended from its near rival, an identity thesis in which conscious mental states are those that the mental subject self-knows immediately that he or she is "in". The paper develops an account of globally supported self-ascription to embed this neo-Brentanian view of experiencing consciously within a more general account of the relation between consciousness and self-knowledge. Following O'Shaughnessy, person level consciousness is explained as a feature of (...)
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  10.  71
    Perceptual Presence and the Productive Imagination.Alan Thomas - 2009 - Philosophical Topics 37 (1):153-174.
  11. Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader.Brad Hooker, Elinor Mason, Dale E. Miller, D. W. Haslett, Shelly Kagan, Sanford S. Levy, David Lyons, Phillip Montague, Tim Mulgan, Philip Pettit, Madison Powers, Jonathan Riley, William H. Shaw, Michael Smith & Alan Thomas (eds.) - 2000 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in (...)
     
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  12. Kant, McDowell and the Theory of Consciousness.Alan Thomas - 1997 - European Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):283-305.
    This paper examines some of the central arguments of John McDowell's Mind and World, particularly his treatment of the Kantian themes of the spontaneity of thought and of the nature of self-consciousness. It is argued that in so far as McDowell departs from Kant, his position becomes less plausible in three respects. First, the space of reason is identified with the space of responsible and critical freedom in a way that runs together issues about synthesis below the level of concepts (...)
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  13. Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality.Alan Thomas - 2002 - Utilitas 14 (2):135.
    This paper interprets Bernard Williams's claim that all practical reasons must meet the internal reasons constraint. It is argued that this constraint is independent of any substantive Humean claims about reasons and its rationale is a content scepticism about the capacity of pure reason to supply reasons for action. The final sections attempt a positive reconciliation of the internal reasons account with the motivation for external reasons, namely, securing practical objecitivy in the form of a commitment to impartiality. Impartiality is (...)
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  14. Giving Each Person Her Due: Taurek Cases and Non-Comparative Justice.Alan Thomas - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676.
    Taurek cases focus a choice between two views of permissible action, Can Save One and Must Save Many . It is argued that Taurek cases do illustrate the rationale for Can Save One , but existing views do not highlight the fact that this is because they are examples of claims grounded on non-comparative justice. To act to save the many solely because they form a group is to discriminate against the one for an irrelevant reason. That is a canonical (...)
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  15.  7
    An Adverbial Theory of Consciousness.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):161-185.
    Thomas Nagel's criterion for an acceptable theory of conscious awareness, that it address the question of “what it is like” to be a conscious subject has been misunderstood in the light of an implicit act/object model of conscious awareness. Kant's account of conscious experience is an adverbial theory precisely in the sense that it avoids such an act/object interpretation. An “objectualist” and an “actualist” construal of views of conscious awareness are contrasted. The idea of an adverbial theory of conscious experience (...)
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  16.  71
    Informal Home Education: Philosophical Aspirations Put Into Practice.Alan Thomas & Harriet Pattison - 2013 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 (2):141-154.
    Informal home education occurs without much that is generally considered essential for formal education—including curriculum, learning plans, assessments, age related targets or planned and deliberate teaching. Our research into families conducting this kind of education enables us to consider learning away from such imposed structures and to explore how children go about learning for themselves within the context of their own socio-cultural setting. In this paper we consider what and how children learn when no educational agenda is arranged for them (...)
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  17.  51
    Practical Reasoning and Normative Relevance: A Reply to McKeever and Ridge.Alan Thomas - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):77-84.
    A putative problem for the moral particularist is that he or she fails to capture the normative relevance of certain considerations that they carry on their face, or the intuitive irrelevance of other considerations. It is argued in response that mastery of certain topic-specific truisms about a subject matter is what it is for a reasonable interlocutor to be engaged in a moral discussion, but the relevance of these truisms has nothing to do with the particularist/generalist dispute. Given that practical (...)
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  18. Consequentialism, Integrity and Demandingness.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    In this paper I will develop the argument that a cognitivist and virtue ethical approach to moral reasons is the only approach that can sustain a non-alienated relation to one’s character and ethical commitments. [Thomas, 2005] As a corollary of this claim, I will argue that moral reasons must be understood as reasonably partial. A view of this kind can, nevertheless, recognise the existence of general and positive obligations to humanity. Doing so does not undermine the view by leading to (...)
     
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  19. Practical Reasoning and Normative Relevance: A Reply to Ridge and McKeever.Alan Thomas - unknown
    The central concern of McKeever & Ridge’s paper is with whether or not the moral particularist can formulate a defensible distinction between default and non-default reasons. [McKeever & Ridge 2004] But that issue is only of concern to the particularist, they argue, because it allows him or her to avoid a deeper problem, an unacceptable “flattening of the normative landscape”. The particularist ought, McKeever & Ridge claim, to view this corollary of his or her position as a serious embarrassment. Unpacking (...)
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  20. Sen on Rawls's “Transcendental Institutionalism”: An Analysis and Critique.Alan Thomas - 2014 - European Journal of Political Theory 13 (3):241-263.
    This paper evaluates Amartya Sen’s criticisms of Rawls’s theory of justice, in particular his critique of the ideal versus nonideal distinction in Rawls, and corrects what I take to be various misconceptions that underpin this critique. I will then move on to the more general issue of how we are to understand the role of the ideal versus nonideal distinction (and how we ought not to understand it) before going on to consider one focused application of Sen’s ideas. I will (...)
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  21.  90
    Values, Reasons and Perspectives.Alan Thomas - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):61–80.
    Peter Winch seems to have described the following kind of paradox. Two agents in a morally dilemmatic situation can agree on the values in that situation and their bearing on decision but come to different all things considered verdicts about what to do. Yet this kind of blameless disagreement is not a Protagorean relativism in which "right" reduces to "right for A" and "right for B". This paper tries to preserve the appearances while avoiding relativism, abandoning cognitivism about value or (...)
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  22.  2
    Nagel's Paradox of Liberty and Equality.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Res Publica 9 (3):257-284.
    Thomas Nagel has argued that we are theoretically committed to both ethical pluralism and liberal egalitarianism in a way that seems plausible but that the combination leads through time to a deep-seated incoherence within our own moral and political outlook.This paper critically examines Nagel’s arguments for this conclusion. The paradox is centrally generated by the dual role of the impartial perspective in Nagel’s argument. This dual role is analysed and rejected as based on a mistake about objectification, such that there (...)
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  23.  58
    Nagel's `Paradox' of Equality and Partiality.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Res Publica 9 (3):257-284.
    Nagel' s pessimistic conclusion that current welfare state arrangements approximate to the most pragmatically effective way of reconciling the demands of morality and of an egalitarian liberalism, while not removing a deep seated incoherence between these view, can be resisted. The objective/subjective dichotomy, in this case applied via the agent-neutral/agent-relative distinction, is identified as his problematic assumption: understood in Hegelian terms as the "placing" of different categories of reason, even a minimal realism makes it difficult to understand how embedding agent-relativity (...)
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  24. Rawls, Adam Smith and an Argument From Complexity to Property-Owning Democracy.Alan Thomas - 2012 - The Good Society 21 (1):4-20.
    This paper foregrounds one argument in Rawls’s work that is crucial to his case for one, determinate, form of political economy: a property-owning democracy. Section one traces the evolution of this idea from the seminal work of Cambridge economist James Meade; section two demonstrates how a commitment to a property-owning democracy flows from Rawls’s own principles; section three focuses on Rawls’s striking critique of orthodox welfare state capitalism. This all sets the stage for an argument, presented in section four, from (...)
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  25.  11
    Liberal Republicanism, and the Idea of an Egalitarian Ethos.Alan Thomas - 2012 - In T. Williamson (ed.), Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 101.
  26. Thomas Nagel.Alan Thomas - 2008 - Routledge.
    In the first systematic study of the philosophy of Thomas Nagel, Alan Thomas discusses Nagel's contrast between the "subjective" and the "objective" points of view throughout the various areas of his wide ranging philosophy. Nagel's original and distinctive contrast between the subjective view and our aspiration to a "view from nowhere" within metaphysics structures the chapters of the book. A "new Humean" in epistemology, Nagel takes philosophical scepticism to be both irrefutable and yet to indicate a profound truth about our (...)
     
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  27. Remorse and Reparation: A Philosophical Analysis.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of remorse from the perspective of moral philosophy. This perspective may be less familiar than other approaches in this anthology, such as those of forensic psychiatry or law. In what ways does moral philosophy claim to be able to illuminate the nature of the concept of remorse? First, by presenting an account of this concept and its structure within a more general account of the nature of moral thought. Second, by (...)
     
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  28. Bernard Williams.Alan Thomas (ed.) - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume provides a systematic overview and comprehensive assessment of Bernard Williams' contribution to moral philosophy, a field in which Williams was one of the most influential of contemporary philosophers. The seven essays, which were specially commissioned for this volume, examine his work on moral objectivity, the nature of practical reason, moral emotion, the critique of the 'morality system', Williams' assessment of the ethical thought of the ancient world, and his later adoption of Nietzsche's method of 'genealogy'. Collectively, the essays (...)
     
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  29.  2
    The Common Mind: An Essay on Psychology, Society and Politics.Alan Thomas - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (179):237-240.
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  30.  26
    Introduction: Consciousness in Historical Perspective.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):159-.
  31.  34
    Review of Dancy's Moral Reasons. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):628-632.
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  32.  4
    IV—Values, Reasons and Perspectives.Alan Thomas - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):61-80.
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  33.  30
    History of Philosophy.Alan Nelson, Alan Thomas & Stephen Mulhall - 2005 - Philosophical Books 46 (3):261-268.
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  34.  3
    David Hume Against the Contractualists of His Time.Gabriel Bertin de Almeida & Alan Thomas - 2007 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 3.
    This paper puts forward an interpretation of Hume's work which suggests a new means of refuting contractualism. This interpretation differs from the 'official' refutation, in that it is based on a concept of artifice which is significantly different from the concept of artifice propounded by the contractualists. This difference is not generally noticed in traditional commentary on Humean political philosophy when it deals with the refutation of contractualism.
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  35. Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult Education.Peter Jarvis & Alan M. Thomas - 1987
     
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  36. Alienation, Objectification, and the Primacy of Virtue.Alan Thomas - 2010 - In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Routledge.
     
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  37.  52
    Beyond Consequentialism, by Paul Hurley. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):208-212.
  38.  8
    Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):628-632.
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  39.  15
    Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 1996 - Mind 105 (420):628-632.
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  40. Consequentialism and the Subversion of Pluralism.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    This paper critically analyses Brad Hooker's attempt to undercut pluralism by arguing that any plausible set of prima facie duties can be derived from a more fundamental rule consequentialist principle. It is argued that this conclusion is foreshadowed by the rationalist and epistemologically realist interpretation that Hooker imposes on his chosen methodology of reflective equilibrium; he is not describing pluralism in its strongest and most plausible version and a more plausible version of pluralism is described and defended.
     
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  41. Charles T. Wolfe.Alan Thomas - 2011 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 14:261-264.
     
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  42.  9
    Full Employment, Unconditional Basic Income and the Keynesian Critique of Rentier Capitalism.Alan Thomas - 2020 - Basic Income Studies 15 (1).
    This paper compares and contrasts the basic income proposal with the alternative policy proposal of the state acting as employer of last resort. Two versions of the UBI proposal are distinguished: one is hard to differentiate from expanded welfare state provision. Van Parijs’s proposal is radical enough to qualify as major egalitarian revision to capitalism. However, while it removes from a capitalist class the power to determine the terms on which others labour, it leaves this class in place and able (...)
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  43.  3
    Freeman on Property-Owning Democracy.Alan Thomas - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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  44.  5
    Graham Priest, Beyond the Limits of Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, Pp 274, Hb £35.00.Alan Thomas - 1996 - Hegel Bulletin 17 (2):80-82.
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  45.  3
    Introduction: Consciousness in Historical Perspective.Alan Thomas - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):159-159.
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  46. Liberal Republicanism and the Role of Civil Society.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    The political liberalism of Rawls and Larmore is presented as uniquely able to solve the problems of modern political theory. In the face of a plurality of reasonable comprehensive conceptions of the good, a legitimate liberal state can legislate solely on the basis of a modular conception of justice affirmed from within each reasonable conception. However, it is argued that this view, while restrictive, has to permit the promotion of its own pre-conditions. This demanding duty of civic restraint requires citizens (...)
     
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  47. Minimalism and Quasi-Realism.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    Expressivism's problem in solving the Frege/Geach problem concerning unasserted contexts is evaluated in the light of Blackburn's own methodological commitment to assessing philosophical theories in terms of costs and benefits, notably quasi-realism's aim of minimising the ontological commitments of a broadly naturalistic worldview. The problem emerges when a competitor theory can explain the same phenomena at lower cost: the minimalist about truth has no problem with unasserted contexts whereas the quasi-realist/expressivist package does. However, this form of projectivism is supposed to (...)
     
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  48. Maxims and Thick Ethical Concepts: Reply to Moore.Alan Thomas - unknown
    Adrian Moore’s paper continues the development of a radical re-interpretation of Kant’s practical philosophy initiated by his Noble in Reason, Infinite in Faculty. [Moore, 2003] I have discussed elsewhere why it seems to me that Moore’s work, taken as a composite with that of his co-symposiasts today Philip Stratton-Lake and Burt Louden, adds up to a comprehensive and radical re-assessment of the contemporary significance of Kant’s practical philosophy which moral philosophers generally ought not to ignore. [Thomas, 2004] Moore states that (...)
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  49.  2
    Managerial Careers and the Problem of Control.Alan Berkeley Thomas - 1983 - Social Science Information 22 (1):1-25.
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  50. Moran on Self-Knowledge and Practical Agency.Alan Thomas - manuscript
    Richard Moran’s Authority and Estrangement develops a compelling explanation of the characteristic features of self-knowledge that involve the use of ‘I’ as subject. Such knowledge is immediate in the sense of non-inferential, is not evidentially grounded and is epistemically authoritative.1 A&E develops its distinctive explanation while also offering accounts of other features of self-knowledge that are often overlooked, such as the centrality of self-knowledge characterised in this way to the concept of the person and its ethical importance. Moran recognises that (...)
     
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