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5.2d. First-Person Authority and Privileged Access (First-Person Authority and Privileged Access on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alston, William P. (1971). Varieties of priveleged access. American Philosophical Quarterly 8 (July):223-41.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Alston, William P. (1983). What's wrong with immediate knowledge? Synthese 55 (April):73-96.   (Cited by 16 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Immediate knowledge is here construed as true belief that does not owe its status as knowledge to support by other knowledge (or justified belief) of the same subject. The bulk of the paper is devoted to a criticism of attempts to show the impossibility of immediate knowledge. I concentrate on attempts by Wilfrid Sellars and Laurence Bonjour to show that putative immediate knowledge really depends on higher-level knowledge or justified belief about the status of the beliefs involved in the putative immediate knowledge. It is concluded that their arguments are lacking in cogency
Audi, Robert N. (1975). The epistemic authority of the first person. Personalist 56:5-15.   (Google)
Bar-On, Dorit (ms). Neo-expressivism: Avowals' security and privileged self-knowledge (reply to brueckner) UNC-Chapel hill.   (Google)
Abstract: Here are some things that I know right now: that I’m feeling a bit hungry, that there’s a red cardinal on my bird feeder, that I’m sitting down, that I have a lot of grading to do today, that my daughter is mad at me, that I’ll be going for a run soon, that I’d like to go out to the movies tonight. As orthodoxy would have it, some among these represent things to which I have privileged epistemic access, namely: my present states of mind. I normally know these states directly, immediately, non-inferentially – I know them the way no one else can know them, and in a way I know nothing else. It’s the job of philosophers to tell us scope and source of this selfknowledge and to explain what renders it privileged
Bar-On, Dorit (2010). Précis of Dorit Bar-on's speaking my mind: Expression and self-knowledge. Acta Analytica 25 (1).   (Google)
Boyle, Matthew (2009). Two kinds of self-knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):133-164.   (Google)
Abstract: 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 is in an important sense fundamental, since it is intimately connected with the very capacity for rational reflection, and since it must be present in any creature that understands the first-person pronoun. Moreover, I suggest that these thoughts about self-knowledge have a Kantian provenance
Castañeda, Hector-Neri (1966). `He': A study in the logic of self-consciousness. Ratio 7:130--57.   (Google)
Cassam, Quassim (2004). Introspection, perception, and epistemic privilege. The Monist 87 (2):255-274.   (Google)
Castañeda, Hector-Neri (1967). On the logic of self-knowledge. Noûs 1 (1):9-21.   (Google | More links)
Cassam, Quassim (2009). The basis of self-knowledge. Erkenntnis 71 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: I discuss the claim what makes self-knowledge epistemologically distinctive is the fact that it is baseless or groundless. I draw a distinction between evidential and explanatory baselessness and argue that self-knowledge is only baseless in the first of these senses. Since evidential baselessness is a relatively widespread phenomenon the evidential baselessness of self-knowledge does not make it epistemologically distinctive and does not call for any special explanation. I do not deny that self-knowledge is epistemologically distinctive. My claim is only that talk of its evidential baselessness is insufficient to account for its epistemological distinctiveness
Chan, Timothy (2010). Moore's paradox is not just another pragmatic paradox. Synthese 173 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: One version of Moore’s Paradox is the challenge to account for the absurdity of beliefs purportedly expressed by someone who asserts sentences of the form ‘p & I do not believe that p’ (‘Moorean sentences’). The absurdity of these beliefs is philosophically puzzling, given that Moorean sentences (i) are contingent and often true; and (ii) express contents that are unproblematic when presented in the third-person. In this paper I critically examine the most popular proposed solution to these two puzzles, according to which Moorean beliefs are absurd because Moorean sentences are instances of pragmatic paradox; that is to say, the propositions they express are necessarily false-when-believed. My conclusion is that while a Moorean belief is a pragmatic paradox, it is not just another pragmatic paradox, because this diagnosis does not explain all the puzzling features of Moorean beliefs. In particularly, while this analysis is plausible in relation to the puzzle posed by characteristic (i) of Moorean sentences, I argue that it fails to account for (ii). I do so in the course of an attempt to formulate the definition of a pragmatic paradox in more precise formal terms, in order to see whether the definition is satisfied by Moorean sentences, but not by their third-person transpositions. For only an account which can do so could address (ii) adequately. After rejecting a number of attempted formalizations, I arrive at a definition which delivers the right results. The problem with this definition, however, is that it has to be couched in first-person terms, making an essential use of ‘I’. Thus the problem of accounting for first-/third-person asymmetry recurs at a higher order, which shows that the Pragmatic Paradox Resolution fails to identify the source of such asymmetry highlighted by Moore’s Paradox
Child, William (2007). Davidson on first person authority and knowledge of meaning. Noûs 41 (2):157–177.   (Google | More links)
Clark, Romane L. (1988). Self knowledge and self consciousness: Thoughts about oneself. Topoi 7 (March):47-55.   (Google | More links)
Coseru, Christian (2009). Naturalism and Intentionality: A Buddhist Epistemological Approach. Asian Philosophy 19 (3):239-264.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I propose a naturalist account of the Buddhist epistemological discussion of sva- samvitti (“self-awareness,” “self-cognition”) following similar attempts in the domains of phe- nomenology and analytic epistemology. I examine the extent to which recent work in naturalized epistemology and phenomenology, particularly in the areas of perception and inten- tionality could be profitably used in unpacking the implications of the Buddhist epistemological project. I am also concerned with naturalism more generally, and the ways in which spe- cific models such as that of embodied cognition, can benefit from some of the valuable insights of Buddhist epistemology.
Davidson, Donald (1984). First person authority. Dialectica 38:101-112.   (Cited by 51 | Google | More links)
Davidson, Donald (1993). Reply to Eva Picardi's first-person authority and radical interpretation. In Ralf Stoecker (ed.), Reflecting Davidson: Donald Davidson Responding to an International Forum of Philosophers (Foundations of Communication). Hawthorne: De Gruyter.   (Google)
Dretske, Fred (2006). Representation, teleosemantics, and the problem of self-knowledge. In Graham F. Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Eilan, Naomi M. & Roessler, Johannes (2003). Agency and self-awareness: Mechanisms and epistemology. In Johannes Roessler (ed.), Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Falvey, Kevin (2000). The basis of first-person authority. Philosophical Topics 28 (2):69-99.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: This paper develops an account of the distinctive epistemic authority of avowals of propositional attitude, focusing on the case of belief. It is argued that such avowals are expressive of the very mental states they self-ascribe. This confers upon them a limited self-warranting status, and renders them immune to an important class of errors to which paradigm empirical (e.g., perceptual) judgments are liable.
Farkas, Katalin (2008). The Subject's Point of View. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Descartes's philosophy has had a considerable influence on the modern conception of the mind, but many think that this influence has been largely negative. The main project of The Subject's Point of View is to argue that discarding certain elements of the Cartesian conception would be much more difficult than critics seem to allow, since it is tied to our understanding of basic notions, including the criteria for what makes someone a person, or one of us. The crucial feature of the Cartesian view defended here is not dualism--which is not adopted--but internalism. Internalism is opposed to the widely accepted externalist thesis, which states that some mental features constitutively depend on certain features of our physical and social environment. In contrast, this book defends the minority internalist view, which holds that the mind is autonomous, and though it is obviously affected by the environment, this influence is merely contingent and does not delimit what is thinkable in principle. Defenders of the externalist view often present their theory as the most thoroughgoing criticism of the Cartesian conception of the mind; Katalin Farkas offers a defence of an uncompromising internalist Cartesian conception
Fernandez, Jordi (2003). Privileged access naturalized. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):352-372.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The purpose of this essay is to account for privileged access or, more precisely, the special kind of epistemic right that we have to some beliefs about our own mental states. My account will have the following two main virtues. First of all, it will only appeal to those conceptual elements that, arguably, we already use in order to account for perceptual knowledge. Secondly, it will constitute a naturalizing account of privileged access in that it does not posit any mysterious faculty of introspection or "inner perception" mechanism
Fernandez, Jordi (2005). Privileged access revisited. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):102-105.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Suppose that you form a certain belief on the basis of perception. You believe, say, that your car is black. How can you be entitled to the belief that you believe that your car is black? I have proposed that the perceptual state that normally grounds your belief about your car also grounds your belief about your own perceptual belief. More generally, my suggestion was that, for any proposition p, if a subject believes that p on the basis of her own apparent perceptions or memories, or on the basis of inference or testimony, then she is entitled to believe that she believes that p if she forms that meta-belief on the basis of the state that lead her to believe that p.1 It will be convenient to coin an expression that abbreviates that someone has formed a meta- belief thus. Let us baptize this procedure of meta-belief formation as ‘extrospection’
Gallois, André (1996). The World Without, the Mind Within: An Essay on First-Person Authority. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this original and challenging study, Andre; Gallois proposes and defends a new thesis about the character of our knowledge of our own intentional states. Taking up issues at the centre of attention in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind and epistemology, he examines accounts of self-knowledge by such philosophers as Donald Davidson, Tyler Burge and Crispin Wright, and advances his own view that, without relying on observation, we are able justifiably to attribute to ourselves propositional attitudes, such as belief, that we consciously hold. His study will be of wide interest to philosophers concerned with questions about self-knowledge
Goldberg, Sanford C. (2004). Review of Maria Frapolli (ed.), Esther Romero (ed.), Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind: Essays on Tyler Burge. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (1).   (Google)
Greenwood, John D. (1991). Self-knowledge: Looking in the wrong direction. Behavior and Philosophy 19 (2):35-47.   (Google)
Hacker, P. M. S. (1997). Davidson on first-person authority. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):285-304.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Hamilton, Andy (2000). The authority of avowals and the concept of belief. European Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):20-39.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Hartnack, Justus (1952). The alleged privacy of experience. Journal of Philosophy 49 (June):405-410.   (Google | More links)
Heal, Jane (2001). On first-person authority. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):1-19.   (Google)
Hohwy, Jakob (2002). Privileged self-knowledge and externalism: A contextualist approach. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (3):235-52.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Holly, W. J. (1986). On Donald Davidson's first person authority. Dialectica 40:153-156.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Kennedy, Matthew (forthcoming). Naive Realism, Privileged Access, and Epistemic Safety. Nous.   (Google)
Abstract: Working from a naïve-realist perspective, I examine first-person knowledge of one’s perceptual experience. I outline a naive-realist theory of how subjects acquire knowledge of the nature of their experiences, and I argue that naive realism is compatible with moderate, substantial forms of first-person privileged access. A more general moral of my paper is that treating “success” states like seeing as genuine mental states does not break up the dynamics that many philosophers expect from the phenomenon of knowledge of the mind.
Landesman, Charles (1964). Mental events. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 24 (March):307-317.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Lawlor, Krista (2003). Elusive reasons: A problem for first-person authority. Philosophical Psychology 16 (4):549-565.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent social psychology is skeptical about self-knowledge. Philosophers, on the other hand, have produced a new account of the source of the authority of self-ascriptions. On this account, it is not descriptive accuracy but authorship which funds the authority of one's self-ascriptions. The resulting view seems to ensure that self-ascriptions are authoritative, despite evidence of one's fallibility. However, a new wave of psychological studies presents a powerful challenge to the authorship account. This research suggests that one can author one's attitudes, but one's self- ascriptions may lack authority. I present this new challenge from social psychology and use it to argue that first-person authority is agential authority: one's self-ascriptions are authoritative, in part anyway, because they are reliable expressions of those attitudes that govern further choices and behavior
Levison, Arnold B. (1987). Rorty, materialism, and privileged access. Noûs 21 (September):381-393.   (Google | More links)
Lockie, Robert (2003). Depth psychology and self-deception. Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):127-148.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper argues that self-deception cannot be explained without employing a depth-psychological ("psychodynamic") notion of the unconscious, and therefore that mainstream academic psychology must make space for such approaches. The paper begins by explicating the notion of a dynamic unconscious. Then a brief account is given of the "paradoxes" of self-deception. It is shown that a depth-psychological self of parts and subceptive agency removes any such paradoxes. Next, several competing accounts of self-deception are considered: an attentional account, a constructivist account, and a neo-Sartrean account. Such accounts are shown to face a general dilemma: either they are able only to explain unmotivated errors of self-perception--in which case they are inadequate for their intended purpose--or they are able to explain motivated self-deception, but do so only by being instantiation mechanisms for depth-psychological processes. The major challenge to this argument comes from the claim that self-deception has a "logic" different to other-deception--the position of Alfred Mele. In an extended discussion it is shown that any such account is explanatorily adequate only for some cases of self-deception--not by any means all. Concluding remarks leave open to further empirical work the scope and importance of depth-psychological approaches
Louch, A. R. (1965). Privileged access. Mind 74 (April):155-173.   (Google | More links)
Ludwig, Kirk A. (1994). First-person knowledge and authority. In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Language Mind and Epistemology: On Donald Davidson's Philosophy. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Macdonald, Cynthia (2007). Introspection and authoritative self-knowledge. Erkenntnis 67 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism
Maitra, Keya (2005). Self-knowledge: Privileged in access or privileged in authority? Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (2):101-114.   (Google)
Manley, David (2007). Safety, Content, Apriority, Self-knowledge. The Journal of Philosophy 104 (8):403-23.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This essay motivates a revised version of the epistemic condition of safety and then employs the revision to (i) challenge the traditional conceptions of apriority, (ii) refute 'strong privileged access', and (iii) resolve a well-known puzzle about externalism and self-knowledge
Margolis, Joseph (1964). The privacy of sensations. Ratio 6 (December):147-153.   (Google)
McCullagh, Mark (2002). Self-knowledge failures and first person authority. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):365-380.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: No account of self-knowledge is satisfactory, I claim, unless it explains how we might truly attribute *failures* to possess self-knowledge. We can make progress towards a satisfactory account, then, by asking, What sorts of self-knowledge could be at issue in true attributions of such failures? It might seem that it can’t be the sort of self-knowledge whose possession conditions Tyler Burge and Donald Davidson have described. I argue that it can be, once we generalize Burge’s and Davidson’s accounts along a certain dimension along which propositional attitude-types can differ. For the sort of self-knowledge required to have attitudes of one type can differ from the sort of self-knowledge required to have attitudes of other types.
McGinn, Colin (2004). Inverted first-person authority. The Monist 87 (2):237-254.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
McHugh, Conor (2010). Self-knowledge and the kk principle. Synthese 173 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that a version of the so-called KK principle is true for principled epistemic reasons; and that this does not entail access internalism, as is commonly supposed, but is consistent with a broad spectrum of epistemological views. The version of the principle I defend states that, given certain normal conditions, knowing p entails being in a position to know that you know p. My argument for the principle proceeds from reflection on what it would take to know that you know something, rather than from reflection on the conditions for knowledge generally. Knowing that you know p, it emerges, is importantly similar to cases of psychological self-knowledge like knowing that you believe p: it does not require any grounds other than your grounds for believing p itself. In so arguing, I do not rely on any general account of knowledge, but only on certain plausible and widely accepted epistemological assumptions
Mitchell, D. (1953). Privileged utterances. Mind 62 (July):355-366.   (Google | More links)
Mortensen, Chris; O'Brien, Gerard & Paterson, Belinda (1993). Distinctions: Subpersonal and subconscious. Psycoloquy.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Puccetti argues that Dennett's views on split brains are defective. First, we criticise Puccetti's argument. Then we distinguish persons, minds, consciousnesses, selves and personalities. Then we introduce the concepts of part-persons and part-consciousnesses, and apply them to clarifying the situation. Finally, we criticise Dennett for some contribution to the confusion
Neta, Ram, The nature and reach of privileged access.   (Google)
Abstract: Many philosophers accept a “privileged access” thesis concerning our own present mental states and mental events. According to these philosophers, if I am in mental state (or undergoing mental event) M, then – at least in many cases – I have privileged access to the fact that I am in (or undergoing) M. For instance, if I now believe that my cat is sitting on my lap, then (in normal circumstances) I have privileged access to the fact that I now believe that my cat is sitting on my lap. Similarly, if I now imagine a parade coming down Main Street, then (again, in normal circumstances) I have privileged access to the fact that I am now imagining a parade coming down Main Street. And again, if it now visually appears to me as if there is a cloud in the sky, then (again, in normal circumstances) I have privileged access to the fact that it now visually appears to me as if there is a cloud in the sky. In each of these aforementioned cases, if circumstances are normal, then, these philosophers say, I have a distinctive kind of privileged epistemic access to facts about my own mental states or events. Of course, I don’t have privileged epistemic access to all facts about my own mental states or events. For instance, I don’t have privileged epistemic access to facts about which unconscious mental states or events I have. But I do have privileged epistemic access to many facts about my own mental states or events, and in particular to the various facts listed above
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Abstract: Descartes held the view that a subject has infallible beliefs about the contents of her thoughts. Here, I first examine a popular contermporary defense of this claim, given by Burge, and find it lacking. I then offer my own defense appealing to a minimal thesis about the compositionality of thoughts. The argument has the virtue of refraining from claims about whether thoughts are “in the head;” thus, it is congenial to both internalists and externalists. The considerations here also illuminate how a subject may have epistemicially priviledged and a priori beliefs about her own thoughts
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Abstract: Researchers from the 1940's through the present have found that normal, sighted people can echolocate - that is, detect properties of silent objects by attending to sound reflected from them. We argue that echolocation is a normal part of our conscious, perceptual experience. Despite this, we argue that people are often grossly mistaken about their experience of echolocation. If so, echolocation provides a counterexample to the view that we cannot be seriously mistaken about our own current conscious experience
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Abstract: We often form beliefs about our own mental states. I believe that I have political beliefs of a certain kind. Perhaps you believe that you want to eat fish for lunch. Most of us have believed, at some moment or other, that we were in love. Let us call beliefs of this kind ‘self-ascriptions’ of mental states. Self- ascriptions normally enjoy a special kind of epistemic justification when the self-ascribed mental state is of a certain type, such as a belief or a desire. Our justification for self-ascriptions of those mental stases seems to be, in some way, privileged or authoritative. In the philosophical literature, this idea is often expressed by saying that we have privileged access to our own mental states, or that our self-ascriptions constitute self-knowledge. The goal of this discussion will be to account for that fact. I will concentrate on privileged access to our own desires.[ii]
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Zimmerman, Aaron Z. (2008). Self-knowledge: Rationalism vs. empiricism. Philosophy Compass 3 (2):325–352.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent philosophical discussions of self-knowledge have focused on basic cases: our knowledge of our own thoughts, beliefs, sensations, experiences, preferences, and intentions. Empiricists argue that we acquire this sort of self-knowledge through inner perception; rationalists assign basic self-knowledge an even more secure source in reason and conceptual understanding. I try to split the difference. Although our knowledge of our own beliefs and thoughts is conceptually insured, our knowledge of our experiences is relevantly like our perceptual knowledge of the external world.