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Gertler, Brie, , . Self-Knowledge
2011, New York: Routledge.
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Added by: Lukas Schwengerer, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: The problem of self-knowledge is one of the most fascinating in all of philosophy and has crucial significance for the philosophy of mind and epistemology. In this outstanding introduction Brie Gertler assesses the leading theoretical approaches to self-knowledge, explaining the work of many of the key figures in the field: from Descartes and Kant, through to Bertrand Russell and Gareth Evans, as well as recent work by Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, William Lycan and Sydney Shoemaker.Beginning with an outline of the distinction between self-knowledge and self-awareness and providing essential historical background to the problem, Gertler addresses specific theories of self-knowledge such as the acquaintance theory, the inner sense theory, and the rationalist theory, as well as leading accounts of self-awareness. The book concludes with a critical explication of the dispute between empiricist and rationalist approaches.

Comment: This is a good introductory overview for the metaphysics and epistemology of self-knowledge. The book provides an excellent discussion on the nature and scope of (purportedly) special self-knowledge. As such it can be used as a starting point for an advanced undergraduate course on self-knowledge. Moreover, the book features a comprehensive overview of three main approaches to an epistemology of self-knowledge (acquaintance, inner sense, rationalist), which makes it a suitable background reading.

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O’Brien, Lucy, , . The Novel as a Source for Self-Knowledge
2017, in Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley, and Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: I will argue that our capacity to directly read off truths from fiction, and the power of the novelist to testify to truths, is indeed limited. I will go on to argue that there are, however, further more indirect ways of coming to truths through fiction, but that even in those cases the author’s power to manipulate should make the epistemically virtuous person proceed carefully. However, before I do that I want to raise three obvious kinds of response to our puzzle. These responses take issue with the claims by which the problem is set up, and I want to look at them briefly, really only to set them aside. My interest is primarily a resolution that hangs on to all three claims.

Comment: This would be a good further reading for students who are interested in how we can learn from fiction, especially if they wish to write a coursework essay on the topic.

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