Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Knowledge Of The Self – Epistemology Reading

The question I had at the start of this unit was that of knowledge of the self coming from inside, what you gather from the actions you take in life and judging them your self, or from outside, what information other people give you about yourself from your actions.

Because of the many differing thoughts people have about themselves, such as the characteristics they believe that they have, I thought to what degree are those characteristics influenced by others that could also be possibly false.

The reading I found is an article on the Standford Encyclopedia of Knowledge, called Self-Knowledge

Contemporary philosophers generally deny that we are infallible or omniscient about our mental states. Here is a simple counter-example to the claim of infallibility. Kate trusts her therapist’s insights into her own psychology, and so she believes him when he tells her that she resents her mother. But the therapist is mistaken—Kate does not resent her mother. Hence, Kate has a false belief about her own attitude. This case also undercuts the claim of omniscience, assuming that Kate is unaware of her genuine (non-resentful) attitude towards her mother.

It is concluded with this example, and previously said in the text, that self-knowledge isn’t fully epistemically secure because outside sources can be of great influence to some people despite their claims being false.


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