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Brie Gertler gertler virginia. Self-Knowledge A primary goal of this chapter is to correct a widespread misunderstanding about how epistemic issues shape the debate between dualists and physicalists. According to a familiar picture, dualism is motivated by armchair reflection, and dualists accord special significance to our ways of conceptualizing consciousness and the physical. In contrast, physicalists favor empirical data over armchair reflection, and physicalism is a relatively straightforward extension of scientific theorizing.

This familiar picture is inaccurate. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science.

My discussion highlights these neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism, and reveals the fine-grained epistemic commitments that motivate dualism and physicalism, respectively. Some physicalists Balog , Howell , and most dualists, endorse the acquaintance response to the Knowledge Argument. This is the claim that Mary gains substantial new knowledge, upon leaving the room, because phenomenal knowledge requires direct acquaintance with phenomenal properties.

The acquaintance response is an especially promising way to make sense of the Mary case. I argue that it casts doubt on two claims often made on behalf of physicalism, regarding parsimony and mental causation.

I show that those who endorse the acquaintance response face special obstacles to invoking parsimony in an argument for physicalism.

I propose that pleasures and pains, while themselves epiphenomenal, can nonetheless explain positive and negative associations with stimuli, associations that can contribute to fitness.

How do we know our own beliefs, intentions, and other attitudes? According to empiricism , such self-knowledge is based in empirical justification or warrant. Agentialists charge that empiricism portrays us as mere observers of a passing cognitive show, and thereby neglects the fact that believing and intending are things we do , for reasons.

They maintain that our capacity for self-knowledge derives from our rational agency—our ability to conform our attitudes to our reasons, and to commit ourselves to those attitudes through avowals Burge ; Moran ; Bilgrami ; Boyle This paper has two goals. The second goal is to defend empiricism from the agentialist challenge. I propose that the phenomena the agentialist associates with believing and intending are, in fact, features of agency more generally. My proposal is compatible with empiricism about self-knowledge.

So empiricism can do justice to the idea that believing and intending are exercises of rational agency. With this provocative book, Cassam aims to reorient the philosophical study of self-knowledge so as to bring its methodology and subject matter into line with r ecognizably human concerns.

He pursues this reorientation on two fronts. A particular virtue of the book is its unwavering insistence that philosophical views about self-knowledge must be judged b y their fidelity to what self-knowledge actually is, namely, an untidy phenomenon in the lives of cognitively limited creatures.

Strikingly, however, it is the question of accessibilism that is the target of many internalist and externalist arguments. The debate between externalism and internalism hinges on the significance of external factors for rational relations between first-order thoughts, not on issues of accessibility. The revised understanding of the debate supports a broadly Fregean approach to individuating cognitive values.

I develop a version of this approach and defend it from a prominent externalist objection. Since this approach individuates cognitive values narrowly, my argument ultimately supports internalism. The debate between internalists and externalists about mental content has proven exceptionally intractable; there is little agreement even on the implications of each of these positions. I argue that this ambiguity is ineliminable. The moral is stark.

The sense that there is a substantive, defining commitment of externalism or internalism—even one that is vague or underspecified—is illusory. There is no univocal thesis of externalism or internalism. I elaborate and defend a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that constitute what I call the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience.

I am especially concerned to correct a mistaken conception of acquaintance accounts as epistemically ambitious, by showing that the epistemic commitments of the acquaintance approach are in fact relatively modest. The awareness thesis is that phenomenally conscious states are states the subject is aware of. In this paper, I argue against that claim.

Use of the transparency method does not yield knowledge of either explicit or implicit dispositional beliefs. And while the self-attributions of occurrent beliefs generated by the transparency method may qualify as knowledge, the possibility that the use of the method generates new beliefs rather than revealing existing beliefs means that the availability of that method does not explain our privileged access to our occurrent beliefs. Stoljar rejects dualism, but defends the use of conceivability arguments.

He argues that the appeal of dualism stems from our ignorance about the physical, an ignorance that taints our use of conceivability tests.

But most of my critical remarks concern his arguments against dualism. For I think the sort of ignorance that Stoljar rightly attributes to us may threaten materialism at least as much as it threatens dualism. Much of this study is devoted to substantiating that claim. Many philosophers accept the following triad of views. A Externalism about mental content; B internalism about the self; C an epistemic conception of the boundary of the self.

I argue that this triad, though not incoherent, is unstable. Since we ordinarily delineate the self in epistemic terms, C is highly plausible. So we should either reject externalism about mental content that is, A or allow that the mind extends into the world and thus reject B.

But, I argue, the extended mind thesis has worrisome consequences. On my diagnosis, the culprit is a widely accepted implicit premise of their argument, namely, that dispositional beliefs are mental states. Reprinted in Timmons and Shoemaker, eds.

Reprinted in Alter and Howell, eds. Oxford University Press. Kriegel, ed. Ferrero, ed. Coleman, ed. Cambridge University Press, pp. Mind Substantial revision. Earlier versions appeared in and Goldberg, ed. Cambridge University Press.

Oxford University Press, pp. Anthony Hatzimoysis. Bayne, Cleeremans and Wilken, eds. Feinberg and Shafer-Landau, eds. But can we know that water does? Review of Roessler and Eilan eds. Review of W.


Brie Gertler

Abstract: In this essay, I defend naturalistic dualism. I take, as my starting point, and argument made by Rene Descartes in his Meditations. I expand and defend this argument, drawing on some ideas developed by contemporary philosophers. The expanded argument is, I think, much more powerful than most physicalists recognize. After making my case for dualism, I offer some criticisms of physicalism. The paper will close by defending dualism from the charge that the picture of reality it proves is unacceptably spooky. Comment: Excellent core reading for an introductory philosophy of mind course introducing dualism.


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Brie Gertler gertler virginia. Self-Knowledge A primary goal of this chapter is to correct a widespread misunderstanding about how epistemic issues shape the debate between dualists and physicalists. According to a familiar picture, dualism is motivated by armchair reflection, and dualists accord special significance to our ways of conceptualizing consciousness and the physical.

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