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Amijee, Fatema, , . The Role of Attention in Russell’s Theory of Knowledge
2013, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (6):1175-1193.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Dominic Alford-Duguid

Abstract: In his Problems of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell distinguished knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge of truths. This paper argues for a new interpretation of the relationship between these two species of knowledge. I argue that knowledge by acquaintance of an object neither suffices for knowledge that one is acquainted with the object, nor puts a subject in a position to know that she is acquainted with the object. These conclusions emerge from a thorough examination of the central role played by attention in Russell’s theory of knowledge. Attention bridges the gap between knowledge by acquaintance and our capacity to form judgements about the objects of acquaintance.

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Gertler, Brie, , . Renewed Acquaintance
2012, In: Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar (ed.). Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123
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Added by: Lukas Schwengerer, Contributed by:

Summary: This chapter elaborates and defends a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what is called the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. While this approach is a descendant of Russell’s acquaintance theory, it is epistemically more modest than that theory. The chapter shows that the acquaintance approach’s hallmark thesis does not carry the ambitious epistemic implications often associated with acquaintance views. And the chapter defends that thesis from objections stemming from what is required for an epistemically substantial grasp of the phenomenal, and from Stalnaker’s worry that, if the thesis were true, information about the phenomenal would be incommunicable.

Comment: An in-depth discussion of the acquaintance approach to introspection, providing a clear explanation and defense of the approach.

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