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Knowing Our Own Minds$
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Crispin Wright, Barry C. Smith, and Cynthia Macdonald

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199241406.001.0001

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Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self‐Knowledge

Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self‐Knowledge

(p.63) 3 Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self‐Knowledge
Knowing Our Own Minds

Christopher Peacocke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The paper argues that our self‐ascription of occurent psychological attitudes is consciously based. It rejects the trichotomy that considers self‐knowledge to be accounted for, by observation, by inference, or by nothing. Instead, conscious attitudes provide the thinker with a reason for self‐ascribing an attitude to the content that occurs to the thinker, when in possession of the relevant concepts. Developing this account for the case of belief, a conscious belief is shown to provide the thinker with a reason to self‐ascribe to it because of the role such states play in the possession conditions for the concept of belief. The conscious attitudes appealed to in the account must be characterized independently of their self‐ascription, and a number of rival accounts of consciousness are rejected. In addition, the paper examines the relations between consciouness and attention by exploring the notion of a conscious thought as occupying the thinker's attention.

Keywords:   attention, conscious attitudes, no‐reasons view, possession conditions, Shoemaker

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