Expressivism, self-knowledge, and rational agency

Blackwood, Stephen (2020) Expressivism, self-knowledge, and rational agency. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 7. ISSN 2662-9992

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One family of thought about self-knowledge has argued that authoritative self-ascriptions express a form of higher-order knowledge whose special character is explained by the role that knowledge plays in rational agency. In contrast to this “regulative model”, according to Wittgenstein’s treatment of self-knowledge authoritative self-ascription of one’s present-tense mental states is explained by the fact that sincere self-ascriptions express the very states they self-ascribe. The Wittgensteinian account is epistemologically deflationary, and it makes no use of higher-order thought to account for the distinctive features of self-ascriptions. It is argued that the regulative model faces difficulties that both undermine it and reinforce the Wittgensteinian explanation. Making use of ideas from Donald Davidson and Richard Moran, an alternative first-order sketch of rational agency consistent with the expressivist view is offered.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14891
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Arts and Social Science > Humanities
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
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