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Self-Knowledge for Humans$
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Quassim Cassam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657575.001.0001

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Homo Philosophicus

Homo Philosophicus

(p.1) 1 Homo Philosophicus
Self-Knowledge for Humans

Quassim Cassam

Oxford University Press

Homo philosophicus is a model epistemic citizen who can discover what his beliefs and other attitudes are by establishing what they ought rationally to be. For human beings, who are not homo philosophicus, the use of this Transparency Method for acquiring self-knowledge is much more problematic. Our attitudes are not always as they ought rationally to be, and it is often easier for us to determine what our attitudes are than to determine what they ought rationally to be. An account of self-knowledge for humans needs to explain substantial self-knowledge as well as the relatively trivial self-knowledge which has been the focus of philosophical discussion. The key questions about self-knowledge include the Sources Question (what are the sources of self-knowledge?), the Value Question (what is the value of self-knowledge?) and the Obstacles Question (what are the obstacles to self-knowledge?).

Keywords:   homo philosophicus, humans, Transparency Method, substantial self-knowledge, trivial self-knowledge, sources of self-knowledge, value of self-knowledge, obstacles to self-knowledge

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