Self-Knowledge for Humans by Quassim CassamSelf-Knowledge for Humans by Quassim Cassam

Self-Knowledge for Humans

byQuassim Cassam

Paperback | December 3, 2016

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Human beings are not model epistemic citizens. Our reasoning can be careless and uncritical, and our beliefs, desires, and other attitudes aren't always as they ought rationally to be. Our beliefs can be eccentric, our desires irrational and our hopes hopelessly unrealistic. Our attitudes areinfluenced by a wide range of non-epistemic or non-rational factors, including our character, our emotions, and powerful unconscious biases. Yet we are rarely conscious of such influences. Self-ignorance is not something to which human beings are immune. In this book Quassim Cassam develops an account of self-knowledge which tries to do justice to these and other respects in which humans aren't model epistemic citizens. He rejects rationalist and other mainstream philosophical accounts of self-knowledge on the grounds that, in more than one sense,they aren't accounts of self-knowledge for humans. Instead he defends the view that inferences from behavioural and psychological evidence are a basic source of human self-knowledge. On this account, self-knowledge is a genuine cognitive achievement and self-ignorance is almost always on the cards. As well as explaining knowledge of our own states of mind, Cassam also accounts for what he calls 'substantial' self-knowledge, including knowledge of our values, emotions, and character. He criticizes philosophical accounts of self-knowledge for neglecting substantial self-knowledge, and concludeswith a discussion of the value of self-knowledge. This book tries to do for philosophy what behavioural economics tries to do for economics. Just as behavioural economics is the economics of homo sapiens, as distinct from the economics of an ideally rational and self homo economics, so Cassam argues that philosophy should focus on the humanpredicament rather than on the reasoning and self-knowledge of an idealized homo philosophicus.
Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He was previously Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, and has also taught at Oxford and UCL. He is the author of Self and World (OUP, 1997), The Possibility of Knowledge (OUP, 2007) and, with John Campbell, Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience T...
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Title:Self-Knowledge for HumansFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0 inPublished:December 3, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198776683

ISBN - 13:9780198776680

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Homo Philosophicus2. The Disparity3. Substantial Self-Knowledge4. Self-Knowledge for Philosophers5. Reality Check6. Psychological Rationalism7. Normative Rationalism8. Predictably Irrational?9. Looking Outwards10. Looking Inwards11. Self-Knowledge and Inference12. Knowing Your Evidence13. Knowing Yourself14. Self-Ignorance15. The Value of Self-KnowledgeBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"a truly fine book. It is clearly and elegantly written, and metes out criticism fairly while developing a number of lines of powerful argument. It demonstrates where most philosophical discussions of self-knowledge have gone astray, puts forward a plausible positive theory of insubstantialself-knowledge, and makes an important start on the project of examining the nature and importance of substantial self-knowledge. It deserves to be widely read." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online