Event Detail

Thu Nov 15, 2007
Howison Library, 4:10–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Fred Dretske (Duke University)
Skepticism and Self-Knowledge

Over the past twenty years I have become increasingly skeptical about the possibility of self-knowledge–knowledge of one’s own mind. Since I am not, by nature, a skeptic, and since self- knowledge (as opposed, for instance, to knowledge of other minds, the external world, or the past) has always seemed the most secure form of knowledge, this is not a comfortable position to be in. Given my other philosophical commitments, though, I do not know how to avoid this conclusion. So, for the time being anyway, I’m stuck with it. I will explain what drives me–and, I think, should drive others–to this radical form of skepticism.

Relevant Publications:

“How Do You Know You Are Not A Zombie?” Privileged Access and First-Person Authority, edited by Brie Gertler, Ashgate Publishing Co, 2003

“Externalism and Self Knowledge,” In Semanatic Externalism,
Skepticism and Self-Knowledge, edited by Susana Nuccetelli, MIT Press, 2003

“Knowing What You Think vs. Knowing That You Think” in The Externalist Challenge: New Studies on Cognition and Intentionality, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, edited by Richard Schantz, 2003 [also published in Persons, an Interdisciplinary Approach, Proceedings of the Wittgenstein Conference, 2002, Vol 31, C. Kanzian, J. Quitteter,. & E. Runggaldier, eds.]