Extending the Transparency Method beyond Belief: a Solution to the Generality Problem

Adam J. Andreotta

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

According to the Transparency Method (TM), one can know whether one believes that P by attending to a question about the world—namely, ‘Is P true?’ On this view, one can know, for instance, whether one believes that Socrates was a Greek philosopher by attending to the question ‘Was Socrates a Greek philosopher?’ While many think that TM can account for the self-knowledge we can have of such a belief—and belief in general—fewer think that TM can be generalised to account for the self-knowledge we can have of other propositional attitudes, such as our desires, intentions, wishes and so on. Call this the Generality Problem. In the present paper, I contrast my own attempt to solve the Generality Problem with several recent ones. I argue that in order to extend TM beyond belief, we must look to the concepts underpinning each kind of mental state. Doing so, I argue, reveals a series of outward-directed questions that can be attended to, in order to know what one desires, intends, wishes and so on. Call this the conceptual approach to extending TM. I support the conceptual approach in the present paper by showing how it generates Moore-Paradoxical sentences that are analogous to the case of belief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-212
Number of pages22
JournalActa Analytica
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date10 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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