In "Self-Knowledge and Resentment", Akeel Bilgrami argues that self-knowledge of our intentional states is special among all the knowledge 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.
Akeel Bilgrami is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.
Preface 1. What Makes Self-Knowledge Special? 2. The Conceptual Basis for Transparency I: A Normative Conception of Agency 3. The Conceptual Basis for Transparency II: Evaluation, Agency and the Irrelevance of Cause 4. The Conceptual Basis for Authority I: Agency, Intentionality and the First Person Point of View 5. The Conceptual Basis for Authority II: Intentionality, Causality, and the Duality of Perspectives 6. Conclusion Appendix I: When Self-Knowledge Is Not Special (with a Short Essay on Psychoanalysis) Appendix II. Does the Debate Between Internal and External Reasons Rest on a Mistake? Notes Index