Varieties of Self-knowledge
The Barker Center
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The workshop aims to bring together philosophers who have worked on the topic of self-knowledge from diverse standpoints to discuss what varieties of self-knowledge are worth distinguishing and how they might matter to a characteristically human life. Questions about the epistemic basis of self-knowledge, and the extent to which we humans possess it, will undoubtedly play a part in the discussion, but our primary goal is not so much to adjudicate these issues as to consider such questions as the following:
• What should be our attitude toward the famous Delphic injunction to “know thyself”? Are there forms of self-knowledge that are crucial to a successful human life? Are there ways in which self-knowledge might be an obstacle to our lives?
• What connection is there, if any, between rationality and self-knowledge? Does rationality entail some capacity for privileged self-knowledge? Is some form of self-knowledge necessary for rationality?
• What is the relationship between self-knowledge and self-consciousness? Must a subject who is capable of thinking of herself first personally (or having "de se" representations of herself) be capable of certain forms of self-knowledge? What forms of self-awareness should we distinguish, and what relations of dependency (if any) hold between them?
• What difference of principle (if any) does our capacity for self-knowledge make to our cognitive capacities in general? Is self-knowledge just more knowledge, potentially useful in the way that any knowledge might be, or does our capacity for some form of self-knowledge transform our very capacity to know in some important way?
• What might it mean to speak of a “first person perspective” on mind, and how might a consideration of that perspective be important to the philosophy of mind?
• How (if at all) are capacities for self-awareness drawn on in more specific forms of human activity such as: intentional action, contentful communication, understanding and interacting with other people, etc.?
This will be a read-in-advance workshop. Papers will be pre-circulated, and will not be presented in full. To register for the workshop and receive access to the papers, please email Olivia Bailey at [email protected]
March 10, 2016, 4:00am EST
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