In Self-Knowledge and Resentment, Akeel Bilgrami argues that self-knowledge of our intentional states is special among all the knowledges we have because it is not an epistemological notion in the standard sense of that term, but instead is a fallout of the radically normative nature of thought and agency.
Four themes or questions are brought together into an integrated philosophical position: What makes self-knowledge different from other forms of knowledge? What makes for freedom and agency in a deterministic universe? What makes intentional states of a subject irreducible to its physical and functional states? And what makes values irreducible to the states of nature as the natural sciences study them? This integration of themes into a single and systematic picture of thought, value, agency, and self-knowledge is essential to the book's aspiration and argument. Once this integrated position is fully in place, the book closes with a postscript on how one might fruitfully view the kind of self-knowledge that is pursued in psychoanalysis.
This is a distinctive and original treatment which covers an impressive sweep of philosophical ground, makes many original and surprising connections, and creates a whole new framework for thinking about self-knowledge and the philosophical landscape around it.
Bilgrami's book provides many interesting arguments woven together in an intricate approach to the notion of self-knowledge, and it provides an important and careful account of a normative and anti-naturalist approach to agency and intentionality.
Bilgrami's book is a deep and painstaking pursuit of a project spanning some of the largest themes in philosophy, showing how they might bear on self-knowledge. Were one inclined to see self-knowledge as an isolated issue, this book is a great antidote.
- 416 pages
- 1 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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