Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Introspective knowledge by acquaintance

    Anna Giustina 

Date: 13 March 2019

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB

Abstract

Introspective knowledge by acquaintance is (roughly) knowledge we acquire just in virtue of being directly aware of our experiences. Differently from most contemporary acquaintance theorists, and similarly to Bertrand Russell, I think that knowledge by acquaintance is a sui generis kind of knowledge: it cannot be reduced to propositional knowledge. In this talk I argue that, although not propositional, knowledge by acquaintance is nonetheless epistemically significant. My argument consists in isolating a mark of epistemic significance, namely information acquisition, and showing that introspective knowledge by acquaintance displays it—it involves acquisition of information about the phenomenology of the introspected experience. Along the way I also argue that knowledge by introspective acquaintance has a special epistemic property, what I call complete and perfect grasp—an epistemic property that, in a sense, is analogous to an epistemic property that has traditionally been attributed to some introspective propositional knowledge, namely, infallibility. I conclude that there are good reasons for thinking that knowledge by acquaintance is epistemically significant.