University of Connecticut

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Philosophy Colloquium: Matthew Boyle

Friday, April 10, 2015
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Storrs Campus
Family Studies 216

Matthew Boyle, Harvard University, “Transparency, Reflection, and Alienation”

Gareth Evans famously observed that we can often answer the question whether we believe that p, not by considering our own psychology, but simply by addressing the question whether p. Much recent work on self-knowledge has been inspired by the idea that, more generally, questions about our own mental states can often be treated as “transparent” to questions about the wider world. There is, however, considerable controversy about how to understand such transparency, and what role it might play in explaining self-knowledge. I argue that some prominent recent interpretations of transparency offer, in effect, an alienated picture of how we know our own minds. I go on to defend a Sartrean interpretation of transparency, on which our knowledge of our own minds is explained by our capacity to transform an implicit or “non-positional” self-awareness into reflective, “positional” self-knowledge.

Contact:

Paul Bloomfield, phsb@uconn.edu

Philosophy Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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