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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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Self‐Knowledge and Resentment 1

Self‐Knowledge and Resentment 1

(p.207) 7 Self‐Knowledge and Resentment1
Knowing Our Own Minds

Akeel Bilgrami

Oxford University Press

The paper pursues the question: what makes self‐knowledge of our intentional states special, what makes it different from other kinds of knowledge? It does so by contrasting a ’constitutive’ view of self‐knowledge with a perceptual model of self‐knowledge, and claims that if the former can be shown to be plausible, that will establish the special character of self‐knowledge. It then follows Crispin Wright in setting up a biconditional, which links the first‐order and second‐order intentional states as a prima facie mark of the constitutive view of self‐knowledge. In the rest of the paper, however, a quite different understanding of the biconditional is provided from the one in Crispin Wright's work. The biconditional is given support by a normative conception of agency owing to Strawson's conception of freedom, and a normative conception of intentionality. The overarching claim of the paper is that the special character of self‐knowledge is of a piece with the special nature of the agent's or first person point of view, and at bottom, both self‐knowledge and the point of view of agency are of a piece with the irreducibility of norms and values to states of nature, as natural sciences study them.

Keywords:   biconditional, intentional states, self-knowledge, Strawson

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