Two objections to Moran's transparency account

Julie Germein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gareth Evans and others have argued that our intentional attitudes are transparent to facts in the world. This suggests we can know them by looking outwards to the world rather than inwards to our minds. Richard Moran uses this idea of transparency in his account of self-knowledge. Critics have objected to his account on several counts. For example, Jonathan Way has argued that irrational attitudes can give ordinary self-knowledge when they are not transparent and that there are rational attitudes that are not transparent. I argue here that these objections fail because Way does not fully consider the two different kinds of self-knowledge, 'ordinary' and evidence-based, that differentiate the two stances that Moran claims a subject can have towards his attitudes. It is the differences between these two stances and the implications of these that motivate Moran's account, rather than whether the formed attitude is rational or irrational, as long as the subject avows it from the deliberative stance, focuses on the attitude's object and conforms to the transparency condition as Moran sets this out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • deliberative stance
  • first-person authority
  • immediacy
  • intentional attitudes
  • self-knowledge
  • theoretical stance
  • transparency


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