Is Skepticism about Self-Knowledge Coherent?
- Gary Ebbs
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In previous work I argued that skepticism about the compatibility ofanti-individualism with self-knowledge is incoherent. Anthony Brueckner isnot convinced by my argument, for reasons he has recently explained inprint. One premise in Brueckner's reasoning is that a person'sself-knowledge is confined to what she can derive solely from herfirst-person experiences of using her sentences. I argue that Brueckner'sacceptance of this premise undermines another part of his reasoning – hisattempt to justify his claims about what thoughts our sincere utterances ofcertain sentences would express in various possible worlds. I describe aweird possible world in which a person who uses Brueckner's reasoning endsup with false beliefs about what thoughts her sincere utterances of certainsentences would express in various possible worlds. I recommend that wereject Brueckner's problematic conception of self-knowledge, and adopt onethat better fits the way we actually ascribe self-knowledge.
- Brueckner, A. (1986): ‘Brains in Vats’, Journal of Philosophy 83, 148–167.
- Brueckner, A. (1997): ‘Is Skepticism About Self-Knowledge Incoherent?’, Analysis57, 287–290.
- Burge, T. (1979): ‘Individualism and the Mental’, in French, Uehling and Wettstein (eds.),Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume IV,Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Ebbs, G. (1996): ‘Can We Take Our Words at Face Value?’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56, 499–530.
- Ebbs, G. (1997): Rule-Following and Realism, Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press.
- Putnam, H. (1975): ‘The Meaning of “Meaning”’, in H. Putnam (ed.), Mind, Language, and Reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Is Skepticism about Self-Knowledge Coherent?
Volume 105, Issue 1 , pp 43-58
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- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- Gary Ebbs (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801-3611, USA