Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge

Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge by Dorit Bar-On

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Dorit Bar-On develops and defends an original view of avowals and self-knowledge which offers systematic answers to many persistent questions concerning our ability to know our own minds. According to Bar-On's Neo-Expressivist view, avowals - those everyday spontaneous pronouncements that we make about our own present states of mind - are acts through which we directly express, rather than merely report, the very mental conditions the avowals ascribe. Verbal acts ofspeaking our minds are thus similar to natural expressions, such as sighing, or smiling; they show, rather than simply telling of our present states of mind. Drawing on resources from the philosophy of language and of mind, the theory of action, and epistemology, Bar-On argues, as against manyexpressivists and their critics, that an expressivist explanation is consistent with a non-deflationary view of self-knowledge and a robust realism about mental states.
Publication Date:
18 / 11 / 2004

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