"Knowing What I Want"


Alex Byrne


On a familiar Evans/Dretske/Shoemaker-inspired view, one may know what one believes by an inference from world to mind; specifically, one infers that one believes that p from the premise that p. Whatever the merits of this account, it is commonly assumed that it is at best of very limited application. Perhaps the account can be extended to cover knowledge of one's perceptual states, but no further. In particular, world-to-mind inferences cannot explain knowledge of one's desires. The paper argues, on the contrary, that they can.