Transparency and Self-Knowledge

ISBN : 9780198821618

Alex Byrne
256 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
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You know what someone else is thinking and feeling by observing them. But how do you know what you are thinking and feeling? This is the problem of self-knowledge, and Alex Byrne tries to solve it. The basic idea is that you do not discover what you are thinking and feeling by taking a special non-optical look at your own mind, but instead by an inference from a premise about your (typically non-mental) environment. So, for example, you come to know that you believe that it's raining by an inference from a premise that is not about you or anything mental, namely that it is raining. That might well seem like a very odd-even mad- inference, and the book tries to explain why it is in fact a good one.


1 Problems of Self-Knowledge
2 Inner Sense
3 Some Recent Approaches
4 The Puzzle of Transparency
5 Belief
6 Perception and Sensation
7 Desire, Intention, and Emotion
8 Memory, Imagination, and Thought

About the author: 

Alex Byrne is chair of the philosophy section at MIT. His main interests are philosophy of mind (especially perception and consciousness), epistemology (especially self-knowledge), metaphysics (especially color), and problems concerning sex and gender. He has written a number of papers on color with David Hilbert of the University of Illinois at Chicago; they also edited the two-volume collection Readings on Color for MIT Press. He recently co-edited The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, now on its second edition.

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