Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self-Knowledge

Princeton University Press
Free sample

Since Socrates, and through Descartes to the present day, the problems of self-knowledge have been central to philosophy's understanding of itself. Today the idea of ''first-person authority''--the claim of a distinctive relation each person has toward his or her own mental life--has been challenged from a number of directions, to the point where many doubt the person bears any distinctive relation to his or her own mental life, let alone a privileged one. In Authority and Estrangement, Richard Moran argues for a reconception of the first-person and its claims. Indeed, he writes, a more thorough repudiation of the idea of privileged inner observation leads to a deeper appreciation of the systematic differences between self-knowledge and the knowledge of others, differences that are both irreducible and constitutive of the very concept and life of the person.

Masterfully blending philosophy of mind and moral psychology, Moran develops a view of self-knowledge that concentrates on the self as agent rather than spectator. He argues that while each person does speak for his own thought and feeling with a distinctive authority, that very authority is tied just as much to the disprivileging of the first-person, to its specific possibilities of alienation. Drawing on certain themes from Wittgenstein, Sartre, and others, the book explores the extent to which what we say about ourselves is a matter of discovery or of creation, the difficulties and limitations in being ''objective'' toward ourselves, and the conflicting demands of realism about oneself and responsibility for oneself. What emerges is a strikingly original and psychologically nuanced exploration of the contrasting ideals of relations to oneself and relations to others.

Read more

About the author

Richard Moran is Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.
Read more

Reviews

Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Jan 6, 2012
Read more
Pages
240
Read more
ISBN
9781400842971
Read more
Read more
Best For
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Richard Moran
“There isn’t anyone with a job that can’t find a few ideas here that they can use to improve the quality of their work or their life...at a minimum the reader will find plenty of observations that they can claim as their own to establish a reputation as witty, insightful, and good to have at a cocktail party.”
George Bailey, General Manager – Electronics Division, IBM; Author of A Thousand Tribes

“If you have ever looked at your own behavior and asked yourself, ‘How could anyone be that dumb?’ you need to read Rich’s books. They make three things abundantly clear. 1) It is easy to be dumb. 2) You are not alone. 3) There are rules for avoiding being dumb, which he has been kind enough to write down for you. Enjoy.”
Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, Dealing with Darwin

“This is all the stuff you never learn in management training but everyone expects you to know. For everyone in business this book will make you say ‘I wish someone had told me.’ Moran is telling you.” Hap Brakeley, Managing Director, Accenture Solutions

“Rich Moran’s Nuts, Bolts, and Jolts is a rare gem of a book. First of all, it’s hysterically funny. Moran could hold his own as a stand-up comic. But don’t be fooled by the humor; Moran may be a funny guy, but he’s also genuinely serious about the advice he gives. And he has the business experience to back it up.”
Jim Kouzes, award-winning author of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge

“What a great book! After IQ and EQ comes BQ, and Rich Moran – a Studs Terkel for the digital age – delivers with the clarity of an executive summary and the impact of an entire encyclopedia.”
Dr. John Kao, author of Jamming

Richard Moran
The Philosophical Imagination brings together several of Richard Moran's essays, ranging over a remarkable variety of topics in philosophy of mind and action, aesthetics, and moral psychology. A theme connecting several of the essays is the different ways our capacity for imagination is drawn on in our responsiveness to art, to literature, to the lives of other persons, and in the practice of philosophy itself. Topics explored here include our emotional responses to mimetic works of art, the nature of metaphor as a vehicle of thought and in the work of rhetoric, and the understanding of the concept of beauty, as that is developed in contrasting ways in the work of Immanuel Kant and Marcel Proust. Several of the essays respond to the work of recent and contemporary philosophers such as Bernard Williams, Stanley Cavell, Harry Frankfurt, and Iris Murdoch, in the context of such themes as the philosophical problem of 'other minds', love and practical reason, the legacy of Sartrean existentialism, and the role of history in the disciplinary self-understanding of philosophy. The final group of essays focuses on questions about self-knowledge and the importance of the first-person perspective, developing ideas from Moran's influential book Authority and Estrangement (Princeton 2001). Topics discussed here include the nature of a person's 'practical knowledge' of her own action, the concept of the mental and the differences between self-understanding and the understanding of others, and the ambiguous role of narrative as a form of self-understanding. Throughout there is an attempt to draw out the connections between topics that are often discussed in isolation from each other, and to pursue them in the context of the recognizable human situations and questions which ground them. The essays are written in a vivid, humane, and accessible style which should attract a broad readership, both inside and outside the academic discipline of philosophy.
Richard Moran
The Philosophical Imagination brings together several of Richard Moran's essays, ranging over a remarkable variety of topics in philosophy of mind and action, aesthetics, and moral psychology. A theme connecting several of the essays is the different ways our capacity for imagination is drawn on in our responsiveness to art, to literature, to the lives of other persons, and in the practice of philosophy itself. Topics explored here include our emotional responses to mimetic works of art, the nature of metaphor as a vehicle of thought and in the work of rhetoric, and the understanding of the concept of beauty, as that is developed in contrasting ways in the work of Immanuel Kant and Marcel Proust. Several of the essays respond to the work of recent and contemporary philosophers such as Bernard Williams, Stanley Cavell, Harry Frankfurt, and Iris Murdoch, in the context of such themes as the philosophical problem of 'other minds', love and practical reason, the legacy of Sartrean existentialism, and the role of history in the disciplinary self-understanding of philosophy. The final group of essays focuses on questions about self-knowledge and the importance of the first-person perspective, developing ideas from Moran's influential book Authority and Estrangement (Princeton 2001). Topics discussed here include the nature of a person's 'practical knowledge' of her own action, the concept of the mental and the differences between self-understanding and the understanding of others, and the ambiguous role of narrative as a form of self-understanding. Throughout there is an attempt to draw out the connections between topics that are often discussed in isolation from each other, and to pursue them in the context of the recognizable human situations and questions which ground them. The essays are written in a vivid, humane, and accessible style which should attract a broad readership, both inside and outside the academic discipline of philosophy.
©2017 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.