•  155
    Transparency and reflection
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (7): 1012-1039. 2019.
    ABSTRACTMuch recent work on self-knowledge has been inspired by the idea that the ‘transparency’ of questions about our own mental states to questions about the non-mental world holds the key to un...
  •  63
    Sartre on bodily transparency
    Manuscrito 41 (4): 33-70. 2018.
    Sartre’s obscure but evocative remarks on bodily awareness have often been cited, but, I argue, they have rarely been understood. This paper aims to bring the connection between Sartre's views on bodily awareness and his more general distinction between “positional” and “non-positional” consciousness. Sartre’s main claim about bodily awareness, I argue, is that our primary awareness of our own bodies is a form of non-positional consciousness. I show that he is right about this, and right to thin…Read more
  •  655
    II—Matthew Boyle: Transparent Self-Knowledge
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1): 223-241. 2011.
    I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the th…Read more
  •  581
    'Making up Your Mind' and the Activity of Reason
    Philosophers' Imprint 11. 2011.
    A venerable philosophical tradition holds that we rational creatures are distinguished by our capacity for a special sort of mental agency or self-determination: we can “make up” our minds about whether to accept a given proposition. But what sort of activity is this? Many contemporary philosophers accept a Process Theory of this activity, according to which a rational subject exercises her capacity for doxastic self-determination only on certain discrete occasions, when she goes through a proce…Read more
  •  89
    I, Me, Mine: Back to Kant, and Back Again, by LonguenesseBéatrice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xx + 257.
  •  765
    Two Kinds of Self‐Knowledge
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1): 133-164. 2009.
    I argue that a variety of influential accounts of self-knowledge are flawed by the assumption that all immediate, authoritative knowledge of our own present mental states is of one basic kind. I claim, on the contrary, that a satisfactory account of self-knowledge must recognize at least two fundamentally different kinds of self-knowledge: an active kind through which we know our own judgments, and a passive kind through which we know our sensations. I show that the former kind of self-knowledge…Read more
  •  288
    Additive Theories of Rationality: A Critique
    European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3): 527-555. 2016.
    Additive theories of rationality, as I use the term, are theories that hold that an account of our capacity to reflect on perceptually-given reasons for belief and desire-based reasons for action can begin with an account of what it is to perceive and desire, in terms that do not presuppose any connection to the capacity to reflect on reasons, and then can add an account of the capacity for rational reflection, conceived as an independent capacity to ‘monitor’ and ‘regulate’ our believing-on-the…Read more
  •  158
  •  598
    Active Belief
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1): 119-147. 2009.
    I argue that cognitively mature human beings have an important sort of control or discretion over their own beliefs, but that to make good sense of this control, we must reject the common idea that it consists in a capacity to act on our belief-state by forming new beliefs or modifying ones we already hold. I propose that we exercise agential control over our beliefs, not primarily in doing things to alter our belief-state, but in holding whatever beliefs we hold. Our beliefs are thus not norm…Read more
  •  169
    Critical Study: Cassam on Self‐Knowledge for Humans
    European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2): 337-348. 2015.
    This paper is a critical study of Quassim Cassam’s Self-Knowledge for Humans (Oxford University Press, 2014). Cassam claims that theorists who emphasize the “transparency” of questions about our own attitudes to questions about the wider world are committed to an excessively rationalistic conception of human thought. I dispute this, and make some clarificatory points about how to understand the relevant notion of “transparency”. I also argue that Cassam’s own “inferentialist” account of attit…Read more
  •  502
    Bar-on on self-knowledge and expression
    Acta Analytica 25 (1): 9-20. 2010.
    I critically discuss the account of self-knowledge presented in Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind (OUP 2004), focusing on Bar-On’s understanding of what makes our capacity for self-knowledge puzzling and on her ‘neo-expressivist’ solution to the puzzle. I argue that there is an important aspect of the problem of self-knowledge that Bar-On’s account does not sufficiently address. A satisfying account of self-knowledge must explain not merely how we are able to make accurate avowals about our own pr…Read more
  •  49
    Die Spontaneität des Verstandes bei Kant und einigen Neokantianern
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 63 (4). 2015.
    Kant famously characterizes our human understanding as a “spontaneous” faculty, but what can this mean? I criticize some recent interpretations of Kant’s claim and suggest that we can only understand what Kant means by “the spontaneity of understanding” if we recognize certain basic differences between how Kant conceived of cognition and how philosophers commonly think of it today. I go on to argue that Kant’s conception of cognition represents an appealing alternative to the unsatisfying option…Read more