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Erkenntnis

pp 1–17 | Cite as

Agent-Awareness in Reflective Knowledge

  • Sharon MasonEmail author
Original Research
  • 44 Downloads

Abstract

I argue that current discussions of the epistemological significance of reflection have entangled concerns about reflection with agential concerns. I begin by showing that a central strand of internalist criticism finds externalism unsatisfactory because it fails to provide a particular kind of self-knowledge, knowledge about the epistemic status of one’s own beliefs. Identifying this internalist motivation as the desire for a kind of self-knowledge opens up new possibilities and suggests new conceptual resources. I employ one of these resources—Richard Moran’s distinction between the theoretical stance and the deliberative stance—to locate two types of reflection: mere reflective awareness of one’s attitudes and agent-awareness of one’s attitudes. I then examine Ernest Sosa’s account of the importance of reflection, showing how Moran’s distinction brings out the centrality of agential concerns in Sosa’s argument for reflective knowledge. I also consider briefly its relevance to fully apt knowledge. While I focus on Sosa’s epistemology, the point extends to internalism more generally.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionThe University of Central ArkansasConwayUSA

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