Review_of_Quassim_Cassam_Self-knowledge.pdf

Has for believing that p are not as good as the ones

This preview shows page 2 - 4 out of 5 pages.

has for believing that P are not as good as the ones possessed by Homo philosophicus . It would also have been good to pay more attention to the scope of TM accounts of self-knowledge. They tend to confine themselves to occurrent, judgement-sensitive, propositional attitudes, such as believing it is raining by so judging after looking out of the window and seeing the rain fall. Of course, that makes TM partial, but so are most accounts of our knowledge of our own mental states. 2 Sometimes philosophers think this is a defect, sometimes instead in a pluralistic spirit they are more conciliatory and expect other theorists to complement their own preferred accounts with different explanations of our knowledge of other kinds of mental states they knowledgeably do not account for. Now, it is interesting to note that Cassam criticizes TM mostly when it comes to knowledge of one’s own – often irrational fears (cf. pp. 22- 24, 65-69). Yet, fears are emotions and emotions are not and need not involve judgment. Hence, it is weird to see they are considered “judgement -sen sitive” propositional attitudes, and are used to show that TM, understood as involving only rational reasons, cannot account for our knowledge of them. Another important issue, perhaps the single most contentious claim in the whole book, is that even when it is granted that TM is used to gain self-knowledge, it would give one inferential knowledge of one’s beliefs (and other propositional attitudes). Here is the relevant passage: Judging that you ought rationally to believe that P doesn’t entail that you believe that P but indicates that you believe that P; to put it another way, the fact that you judge that you ought to believe that P looks like pretty good evidence that you do believe that P, at least on the assumption that what you believe in trivial matters is generally in line with what you think you ought rationally to believe. But y our knowledge on the basis of ‘pretty good evidence’ that you believe that P can’t be regarded as immediate if immediate knowledge is knowledge that isn’t based on any evidence; in effect, you infer that you believe that P from your judgement about what you ought rationally to believe, and inferential knowledge clearly isn’t immediate knowledge (Cassam 2014, p. 111). Now, there is something odd in the present reconstruction of how TM is supposed to work. Here is, again, a simple formulation of it. You ponder whether there are reasons in favour of P, you find some that, by your 1 See my (2014) review of Fernandez (2013), which is the most sustained attempt at applying TM to self-knowledge of all kinds of propositional attitudes to date. 2 Expressivism, for instance, mostly addresses knowledge of our occurrent sensations, constitutive positions, in contrast, focus on knowledge of propositional attitudes, so does Armstrong’ s reliabilism, Gopnik’ s form of behaviourism and Burge’s rationalism (indeed he seems to be largely concerned with self -verifying propositional attitudes only).
Image of page 2

Subscribe to view the full document.

3
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
  • Spring '19
  • Andrew
  • Logic, Belief, Propositional attitude, Quassim Cassam

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern