Evans on transparency: a rationalist account

Date

2018-05-11

Authors

Stoljar, Daniel

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Volume Title

Publisher

Kluwer Academic Publishers

Abstract

Gareth Evans famously observed that he can answer the question ‘Do you think there is going to be a third world war?’ by attending to “precisely the same outward phenomena as I would attend to if I were answering the question ‘Will there be a third world war?’” (The varieties of reference, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 225, 1982). I argue that this observation follows from two independently plausible ideas in philosophy of mind. The first is about rationality and consciousness: it is that to be rational is in part to be required to believe that you are in a conscious state if you are in one, at least if various background conditions are met. The second is about consciousness and attention: it is that consciousness in a belief state consists in its subject engaging, to a sufficient extent, in a certain sort of world-directed attention. I also argue that this suggestion is superior to others that have been made in the literature regarding Evan’s observation.

Description

Keywords

Consciousness, Rationality, Introspection, Self-knowledge, Transparency, Attention, Access, Evans

Citation

Stoljar, D. Philos Stud (2019) 176: 2067. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-018-1111-x

Source

Philosophical Studies

Type

Journal article

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DOI

10.1007/s11098-018-1111-x

Restricted until

2037-12-31