Speaking My Mind
This book motivates and develops a novel view of avowals and self-knowledge that attempts to give systematic answers to standing questions concerning our ability to know our own minds. Drawing on resources from the philosophy of language, the theory of action, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind, the author offers original and systematic answers to these questions.
She proposes a Neo-Expressivist view according to which an avowal is an act through which a person directly expresses, rather than merely reports, the very mental condition that it tells of. She argues that this expressivist idea, coupled with an adequate characterization of expression and a proper separation of the semantics of avowals from their pragmatics and epistemology, explains the special status we assign to avowals. As against many expressivists and their critics, she maintains that an expressivist explanation is consistent with a non-deflationary view of self-knowledge and a robust realism about mental states. The view that emerges preserves many insights of the most prominent contributors to the subject, while offering a fresh perspective on our special relationship to our own minds.
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