Book Chapter

Self-knowledge: the Reality of Privileged Access



Wright C (2015) Self-knowledge: the Reality of Privileged Access. In: Goldberg S (ed.) Externalism, Self-Knowledge and Scepticism: New Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 49-74.

Paul Snowdon's [2012] ( “How to Think about Phenomenal Self-Knowledge” in A.Coliva, ed., The Self and Self-knowledge, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 243-262)  develops a range of careful and interesting criticisms of ideas about the problem of self-knowledge, and about what I interpreted as the broad contribution to it made byWittgenstein's later work, that I presented in Whitehead lectures at Harvard almost twenty years ago. Snowdon questions whether Wittgenstein's characteristic focus upon the linguistic expressions of self-knowledge holds out any real prospect of philosophical progress, and charges that my discussion is guilty in any case of distortion and over-simplification of the 'data', whether conceived as linguistic or otherwise, that set the problem of self-knowledge in the first place. In this paper, I take the opportunity to respond.

Self-knowledge; privileged access; first person authority; avowals; Ryle; Wittgenstein

Publication date30/09/2015
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publisher URL…icism-new-essays
Place of publicationCambridge

People (1)


Professor Crispin Wright
Professor Crispin Wright

Professor, Philosophy