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Grant number: FT-60949-13

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Alexander Byrne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA 02139-4307)

A Theory of How We Know Our Own Minds

The project is to complete a book ("Transparency and Self-Knowledge") defending a theory of how one knows one's own mind: how one knows that one believes that it's raining, that one intends to go to the movies, that one sees a red apple, that one has twinge in one's knee, and so on. Knowledge of one's own mind (or "self-knowledge" as it is called in the philosophical literature) has a humble subject matter (in the relevant sense, self-knowledge is not knowledge of who one "really is") but it is profoundly puzzling. It is clear enough how one knows that there is a red apple on the table, namely by seeing it. But how does one know that one sees a red apple? (One doesn't glimpse one's own seeing.) That question is rarely addressed; the answer is far from obvious. The book should be of interest to philosophers in general, some psychologists, and anyone who is interested in the nature and scope of self-knowledge.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 8/31/2013