SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Responding to the response: the self-knowledge debate between Moran and O'Brien
(Philosophy of Mind, )

A The aim of my talk is to investigate Richard Moran's response to Lucy O'Brian's critique of his account of self-knowledge. Richard Moran (2001) proposed a theory of self-knowledge that focused on our activity as rational agents. Being a rational agent means being able to create our attitudes on the basis of deliberation (O'Brien 2003: 376) according to the reasons one has (see Gertler 2011: 169). Such an agent has her eyes directed at the world that provides her with reasons and therefore can answer questions about her mind by considering directly the world itself (Moran 2001: 84; Moran 2003: 405-406). Lucy O'Brien challenged Moran's view by noticing that he doesn't really address the epistemic issue, namely: "how agency gives us knowledge" (O'Brien 2003: 377). She tries to find an answer to this question in Moran's view of deliberation; however, she concludes that such an account would require too much conceptual sophistication and would exclude for example small children (O'Brien 2003: 380). Instead, she outlines a different approach (O'Brien 2003: 380-382, see also O'Brien 2005). Moran responded to this critique (Moran 2003). Although he claimed to endorse O'Brien's comments, I will show that his response actually demonstrates that he did not understand the essence of her argument. Not only does he misrepresent her argument as relating to intentions, whereas O'Brien refers to beliefs, but also proposes solutions that suggest an unplausible account of self-knowledge that does not agree with the view proposed in his main book on the subject (Moran 2001).

Chair: Agnieszka Proszewska
Time: 14:40-15:10, 11 September 2021 (Saturday)
Location: SR 1.003

Ida Miczke 
(University of Warsaw, )

Testability and Meaning deco