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Self‐Knowledge and Rational Agency: A Defense of Empiricism

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How does one know one's own beliefs, intentions, and other attitudes? Many responses to this question are broadly empiricist, in that they take self‐knowledge to be epistemically based in empirical justification or warrant. Empiricism about self‐knowledge faces an influential objection: that it portrays us as mere observers of a passing cognitive show, and neglects the fact that believing and intending are things we do, for reasons. According to the competing, agentialist conception of self‐knowledge, our capacity for self‐knowledge derives from our rational agency—our ability to conform our attitudes to our reasons, and to commit ourselves to those attitudes through avowals (Burge 1996; Moran 2001; Bilgrami 2006; Boyle 2009).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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