Self-Knowledge

Front Cover
Taylor & Francis, Nov 25, 2010 - Philosophy - 318 pages

How do you know your own thoughts and feelings? Do we have ‘privileged access’ to our own minds? Does introspection provide a grasp of a thinking self or ‘I’?

The problem of self-knowledge is one of the most fascinating in all of philosophy and has crucial significance for the philosophy of mind and epistemology. In this outstanding introduction Brie Gertler assesses the leading theoretical approaches to self-knowledge, explaining the work of many of the key figures in the field: from Descartes and Kant, through to Bertrand Russell and Gareth Evans, as well as recent work by Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, William Lycan and Sydney Shoemaker.

Beginning with an outline of the distinction between self-knowledge and self-awareness and providing essential historical background to the problem, Gertler addresses specific theories of self-knowledge such as the acquaintance theory, the inner sense theory, and the rationalist theory, as well as leading accounts of self-awareness. The book concludes with a critical explication of the dispute between empiricist and rationalist approaches.

Including helpful chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary, Self Knowledge is essential reading for those interested in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and personal identity.

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About the author (2010)

Brie Gertler is Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in Analysis, Mind, Nos, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and other journals. She is editor (with Lawrence Shapiro) of Arguing About the Mind (Routledge 2007).

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