Institut Jean Nicod

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Self-Knowledge

 

Le 15 mai 2012

Program :

10.00-11.15 : Annalisa Coliva (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), "Moore’s Paradox and Commitments"

11.15-11.30 : coffee break

11.30-12.45 : Gianfranco Soldati (University of Fribourg), "Prospects of a Deflationary Theory of Self-Knowledge"

12.45-14.30 : lunch break

14.30-15.45 : Heidi Maibom (Carleton University), "Knowing Me, Knowing You !"

15.45-16.00 : coffee break

16.00-17.15 François Recanati (Institut Jean Nicod), "Slow Switching and the Transparency of Coreference"

 

Format : Talks will last for 45 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

 

Venues : the morning session will take place at 29 rue d’Ulm, Pavillon Jardin, Salle de réunion ; the afternoon session will take place 29 rue d’Ulm, main building, room 235A.

 

Organizers : François RecanatiDan Zeman and Jérémie Lafraire.

 

Abstracts :

Annalisa Coliva, "Moore’s paradox and commitments"
In this talk I review two main kinds of analysis of Moore’s paradox (either "I believe that P, but it isn’t the case that P" and "I don’t believe that P, but it is the case that P") that have been proposed in the literature so far. I call them, for convenience, the Moorean and the Wittgensteinian analysis respectively. I argue that both are defective for a number of reasons, which I present. I show how on the dominant view of belief, Moore’s paradox in fact disappears. I therefore put forward the view that Moore’s paradox can so much as exist only if its doxastic conjunct is taken to be about a very specific kind of belief, namely a belief as a commitment. Hence, the proposed analysis of Moore’s paradox indirectly supports the view I have been favoring in other writings of mine. Namely, that propositional attitudes as commitments had better be countenanced in our theorizing about the mind and that solely for these attitudes constitutive models of self-knowledge can be made sense of.

Gianfranco Soldati, "Prospects of a Deflationary Theory of Self-Knowledge"
Following a certain transparency claim, evidence concerning the external world can be used in order to ground the attribution of a belief to oneself. This epistemic privilege arguably depends on the applicability of norms of rationality that are manifest in paradoxes of the Moorean kind (’It rains but I don’t believe it’). In this paper I shall try to clarify how these norms of rationality actually apply to the self-attribution of belief and I shall determine the features by virtue of which they deliver genuine epistemic warrant. A central issue in this debate, I shall argue, depends on the way experiences provide the subject with epistemic reasons to form a belief. It is useful in this respect to compare the self-attribution of judgements, of acts of judging, with the self-attributio of other kinds of experiences, such as perceptions and desires.

Heidi Maibom, "Knowing Me, Knowing You !"
The empathic imagination is typically thought to give us information about others. By imagining how they feel or think, we get more of an insight into their psychological and emotional state. However, I shall argue that in many cases our imaginative enterprises teach us more about ourselves than they teach us about others. I shall consider a variety of ways in which we project what is true of ourselves onto others. I then consider various explanations of this tendency. It is not, I argue, because we cannot do any better that we project, but we project to protect ourselves or in other way to further projects, which may be more or less conscious. In the end, the right approach is a Freudian one.

François Recanati, "Slow Switching and the Transparency of Coreference" 
The phenomenon of "slow switching" (Burge 1988) shows that the reference (content) of a mental representation may change as the context changes even though no internally detectable change occurs. This defeats various versions of the principle of epistemic transparency. One particular version of the principle which which plays a crucial role in my theory of mental files is the transparency of coreference. According to that version of the principle, the subject who deploys the same mental file twice in a train of thought knows that, on the two deployments, the file refers to the same entity (if it refers at all). Slow switching provides an apparent counterexample, viz. a case in which, unbeknown to the subject, two deployments of the same mental file refer to two distinct entities. I will argue that the counterexample is only apparent : slow switching, I will claim, iscompatible with the transparency of coreference.


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