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First-person authority: an epistemic-pragmatic account

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalMind and Language
Journal number2
Volume27
Number of pages18
Pages181-199
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Some self-ascriptions of belief, desire and other attitudes exhibit first-person authority. The aim here is to offer a novel account of this kind of first-person authority. The account is a development of Robert Gordon’s ascent routine theory but is framed in terms of our ability to bring it about that others know of our attitudes via speech acts which do not deploy attitudinal vocabulary but which nonetheless ‘show’ our attitudes to others. Unlike Gordon’s ascent routine theory, the theory readily applies to attitudes other than belief, avoids a need to appeal to processes of making up one’s mind, and does not rest upon a distinction between ‘outward looking’ and ‘inward looking’ processes.