BU Workshop on Late Modern Philosophy: Self-Knowledge
745 Commonwealth Avenue
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Workshop on Late Modern Philosophy The BU Workshop on Late Modern Philosophy is an annual forum for presenting new work on late-eighteenth through early-twentieth-century philosophy.
THEME FOR 2020/21 WORKSHOP:
The 2020/21 workshop will focus on Self-Knowledge and Self-Ignorance.
At the end of the eighteenth-century, Kant claimed that the “I think” must be able to accompany any genuinely mental representations. This suggested, to some readers, that all mental states would be consciously accessible and that our minds would be transparent. Yet Kant also asserts that “only a few places on the vast map of our mind are illuminated” (Anthropology 7:135) and that “without noticing it, we suppose we are discovering within ourselves what we ourselves have put there” (Anthropology 7:133), thus emphasizing the obscurity of our own minds. These two tendencies—the tendency to emphasize a distinctive mode of access to our own mental states, together with the admission that our minds can be opaque to us—occupied a great deal of attention during the late modern period. Do we have any kind of privileged access to our own mental activities? Or is our knowledge of our own mental lives analogous to our knowledge of the minds of others? If we do have privileged access, how is this to be reconciled with the fact that we display pervasive self-ignorance?
The workshop provides speakers with an opportunity to receive constructive feedback on work in progress. Papers are distributed in advance and should be read prior to the workshop. At the workshop, the participants give brief summaries of their papers; this is followed by an hour of discussion per paper.
The workshop is open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend.
September 10, 2021, 9:00am EST