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Self-knowledge and commitments


In this paper I provide an outline of a new kind of constitutive account of self-knowledge. It is argued that in order for the model properly to explain transparency, a further category of propositional attitudes—called “commitments”—has to be countenanced. It is also maintained that constitutive theories can’t remain neutral on the issue of the possession of psychological concepts, and a proposal about the possession of the concept of belief is sketched. Finally, it is claimed that in order for a constitutive account properly to explain authority, it has to take a rather dramatic constructivist turn, which makes it suitable as an explanation of self-knowledge only for a limited class of mental states.

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Correspondence to Annalisa Coliva.

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Coliva, A. Self-knowledge and commitments. Synthese 171, 365–375 (2009).

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  • Self-knowledge
  • Constitutive accounts
  • Beliefs
  • Commitments
  • Transparency
  • Authority
  • Self-deception
  • Constructivism