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Title: Self-knowledge and morality
Author: Powell, Betty
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1957
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This thesis is concerned with certain aspects of self-knowledge which are important for morality. It is an attempt to show the inadequacy of the theory of self-knowledge by parity with knowledge of others put forward by Professor Ryle in The Concept of Kind, whilst accepting his criticisms of the traditional theory of self-knowledge. The thesis is largely concerned with knowing what we do, and the things that we do, and its purpose is to emphasise differences between agent and observer. It is maintained (Chapter II) that knowing what I did is different in kind from knowing what others did, and an account is given of knowing what I did, which involves some consideration of the place of motives. Chapter I is an attempt to justify the rejection of the thesis that every action must have a motive. Chapters III and IV are attempts to deny that we know all that there is to know about a man from his behaviour. It is claimed that there are things which we do in thought, which may be said to be constituents of our 'inner lives'. Some attention is given to one of the most important 'inner life' concepts, that of self-deception. Finally, it is shown that the admission that we do not know all that there is to know about a man from his observable behaviour does not materially affect our ability to predict his behaviour, and that the account of motives and our knowledge of what we did, given previously, allows us to account for a man's doing one generous action in the whole of his life. This thesis is in no sense itself a theory of self-knowledge, for there are many aspects of self-knowledge which have not been considered. But it is an attempt to show that there are things to be said about self-knowledge which are neglected if we believe with Ryle, that there are no differences between self-knowledge and our knowledge of others.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy