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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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Knowing Your Evidence

Knowing Your Evidence

(p.159) 12 Knowing Your Evidence
Self-Knowledge for Humans

Quassim Cassam

Oxford University Press

Inferentialism about self-knowledge faces the challenge of explaining self-knowledge of states of mind that aren’t standing attitudes. Inferences from evidence require knowledge of one’s evidence, and the evidence from which one’s standing attitudes are inferred includes various types of ‘occurrent’ psychological states, including inner speech, emotions, and feelings. It is argued that knowledge of such ‘internal promptings’ is itself inferential, and that this does not generate a problematic regress. Access to internal promptings is, as Carruthers argues, interpretive, and interpretive access to one’s internal promptings is both epistemically and psychologically inferential. On this account, self-knowledge is holistic rather than linear, and no problematic circularity is implied.

Keywords:   inferentialism, standing attitudes, evidence, occurrent psychological states, internal promptings, Peter Carruthers, interpretive access, inference, circularity

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