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Authority and Estrangement : An Essay on Self-Knowledge - Richard Moran

Authority and Estrangement

An Essay on Self-Knowledge

Paperback

Published: 18th November 2001
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Since Socrates, and through Descartes to the present day, the problems of self-knowledge have been central to philosophy's understanding of itself. Today the idea of ''first-person authority''--the claim of a distinctive relation each person has toward his or her own mental life--has been challenged from a number of directions, to the point where many doubt the person bears any distinctive relation to his or her own mental life, let alone a privileged one. In "Authority and Estrangement," Richard Moran argues for a reconception of the first-person and its claims. Indeed, he writes, a more thorough repudiation of the idea of privileged inner observation leads to a deeper appreciation of the systematic differences between self-knowledge and the knowledge of others, differences that are both irreducible and constitutive of the very concept and life of the person.

Masterfully blending philosophy of mind and moral psychology, Moran develops a view of self-knowledge that concentrates on the self as agent rather than spectator. He argues that while each person does speak for his own thought and feeling with a distinctive authority, that very authority is tied just as much to the disprivileging of the first-person, to its specific possibilities of alienation. Drawing on certain themes from Wittgenstein, Sartre, and others, the book explores the extent to which what we say about ourselves is a matter of discovery or of creation, the difficulties and limitations in being ''objective'' toward ourselves, and the conflicting demands of realism about oneself and responsibility for oneself. What emerges is a strikingly original and psychologically nuanced exploration of the contrasting ideals of relations to oneself and relations to others.

"Authority and Estrangement is simply one of the most striking and original books in the Philosophy of Mind written in the last ten years. It is a terrific book. It has been anticipated for a long time, and it will not disappoint. In quality of content, it is first rate through and through. Moreover, it is positively exciting to read." - George Wilson, University of California at Davis

Outline of the Chaptersp. xi
Prefacep. xxvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxxvii
The Image of Self-Knowledgep. 1
The Fortunes of Self-Consciousness: Descartes, Freud, and Cognitive Sciencep. 4
The Possibility of Self-Knowledge: Introspection, Perception, and Deflationp. 12
Constitutive Relations and Detectionp. 20
"Conscious Belief": Locating the First-Personp. 27
Making Up Your Mind: Self-Interpretation and Self-Constitutionp. 36
Self-Interpretation, Objectivity, and Independencep. 38
Self-Fulfillment and Its Discontentsp. 42
The Whole Person's Discrete Statesp. 48
Belief and the Activity of Interpretingp. 51
The Process of Self-Creation: Theoretical and Deliberative Questionsp. 55
Relations of Transparencyp. 60
Self-Knowledge as Discovery and as Resolutionp. 66
Wittgenstein and Moore's Paradoxp. 69
Sartre, Self-Consciousness, and the Limits of the Empiricalp. 77
Avowal and Attributionp. 88
Binding and Unbindingp. 94
The Authority of Self-Consciousnessp. 100
Expressing, Reporting, and Avowingp. 100
Rationality, Awareness, and Control: A Look Insidep. 107
From Supervision to Authority: Agency and the Attitudesp. 113
The Retreat to Evidencep. 120
First-Person Immediacy and Authorityp. 124
Introspection and the Deliberative Point of Viewp. 134
Reflection and the Demands of Authority: Apprehension, Arrest, and Convictionp. 138
The Reflective Agentp. 148
Impersonality, Expression, and the Undoing of Self-Knowledgep. 152
Self-Other Asymmetries and Their Skeptical Interpretationp. 153
The Partiality of the Impersonal Stancep. 158
Self-Effacement and Third-Person Privilegep. 166
Paradoxes of Self-Censurep. 170
Incorporation and the Expressive Readingp. 182
"Not First-Personal Enough?"p. 187
Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691089454
ISBN-10: 0691089450
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 18th November 2001
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.36