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Authority without privilege: How to be a Dretskean conciliatory skeptic on self-knowledge

  • Michael RocheEmail author
  • William Roche
Article
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Abstract

Dretske is a “conciliatory skeptic” on self-knowledge. Take some subject S such that (1) S thinks that P and (2) S knows that she has thoughts. Dretske’s theory can be put as follows: S has a privileged way of knowing what she thinks, but she has no privileged way of knowing that she thinks it. There is much to be said on behalf of conciliatory skepticism (“CS” for short) and Dretske’s defense of it. We aim to show, however, that Dretske’s defense fails, in that (in part) if his defense of CS’s skeptical half succeeds, then his defense of CS’s conciliatory half fails. We then suggest a potential way forward. We suggest in particular that the correct way of being a Dretskean conciliatory skeptic is to deny that S has a privileged way of knowing about her thoughts, but to grant that she is nonetheless an authority on her thoughts.

Keywords

Authority Conciliatory skepticism Contrastivist epistemologies Dretske McKinsey’s paradox Privilege Self-knowledge Thought 

Notes

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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