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Abstract: There is an apparent tension in current accounts of the relationship between reason giving and self knowledge. On the one hand, philosophers like Richard Moran (2001) claim that deliberation and justification can give rise to first-person authority over the attitudes that subjects form or defend on the basis of what they take to be their best reasons. On the other hand, the psychological evidence on the introspection effects and the literature on elusive reasons suggest that engaging in explicit deliberation or justification leads subjects to report attitudes that are not consistent with their previous attitudes or with their future behavior. On the basis of these findings, Tim Wilson (2002) argues that analyzing reasons compromises self knowledge. I shall defend a realistic account of the effects of reason giving which is compatible with the empirical findings on introspection and also with the claim that deliberation and justification have epistemic benefits.
Abstract: There is no satisfactory account for the general phenomenon of confabulation, for the following reasons: (1) confabulation occurs in a number of pathological and non-pathological conditions; (2) impairments giving rise to confabulation are likely to have different neural bases; and (3) there is no unique theory explaining the aetiology of confabulations. An epistemic approach to defining confabulation could solve all of these issues, by focusing on the surface features of the phenomenon. However, existing epistemic accounts are unable to offer sufficient conditions for confabulation and tend to emphasise only its epistemic disadvantages. In this paper, we argue that a satisfactory epistemic account of confabulation should also acknowledge those features which are (potentially) epistemically advantageous. For example, confabulation may allow subjects to exercise some control over their own cognitive life which is instrumental to the construction or preservation of their sense of self.
Abstract: It is often taken for granted in standard theories of interpretation that there cannot be intentionality without rationality. According to the background argument, a system can be interpreted as having irrational beliefs only against a general background of rationality. Starting from the widespread assumption that delusions can be reasonably described as irrational beliefs, I argue here that the background argument fails to account for their intentional description
Abstract: D.S. Clarke has defended the claim that accepting that p entails believing that p. He refers to this thesis as “the entailment thesis.” In this paper I argue that we ought to reject the entailment thesis. Many philosophers have defended the claim that acceptance and belief are different types of mental states, or, at the very least, that there are ways of accepting propositions that are distinct from doxastic acceptance.1 Many would claim that belief and non-doxastic acceptance differ in some or all of the following six ways. First, belief aims at truth, while acceptance aims at utility or success. Second, belief is shaped by evidence; acceptance need not be shaped by evidence. Third, belief is contextindependent insofar as it is not shaped by an agent’s purposes, but acceptance is often context-dependent and shaped by an agent’s purposes. Fourth, belief is subject to an ideal of agglomeration, and acceptance is not regulated by any such ideal. Fifth, belief comes in degrees while acceptance is all or nothing. Finally, belief is not subject to direct voluntary control, while acceptance can be under our direct voluntary control (some holding that acceptance is also a mental action type). Not all of those who claim that there is a real difference between (non-doxastic) acceptance and belief take it that all of six of these are real distinctions between the two types of attitudes. And some take ‘acceptance’ to be a rather broad type that includes attitudes such as assuming, having faith, hypothesizing, imagining, trusting, and believing as ways of accepting propositions