Carruthers and Constitutive Self-Knowledge

John C. Hill '13, Gettysburg College


In his recent book, The Opacity of Mind, Peter Carruthers advances a skeptical theory of self-knowledge, integrating results from experimental psychology and cognitive science. In this essay, I want to suggest that the situation is not quite as dire as Carruthers makes it out to be. I respond to Carruthers by advancing a constitutive theory of self-knowledge. I argue that self-knowledge, so understood, is not only compatible with the empirical research that Carruthers utilizes, but also helps to make sense of these results.