Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997.
Book — ix, 204 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Keith Lehrer offers an original philosophical view of principal aspects of the human condition, such as reason, knowledge, wisdom, autonomy, love, consensus, and consciousness. Three unifying ideas run through the book. The first is that what is uniquely human is the capacity for metamental ascent, the ability to consider and evaluate first-order mental states (such as beliefs and desires) that arise naturally within us. A primary function of this metamental ascent is the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict, essential to such central human goods as wisdom, autonomy, and consensus. The second unifying idea is that we have a system for such reflective evaluation which yields acceptance (in relation to beliefs) or preference (in relation to the objects of desires). The third unifying idea is that there are 'keystones' of evaluation in this system: loops of trustworthiness that are themselves supported by the structure that they hold together. Self-trust is the basis of our trustworthiness, on which reason, knowledge, and wisdom are grounded. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Introduction-- An empirical disproof of determinism?-- A possible worlds analysis of freedom-- Preferences, conditionals, and freedom-- Induction, rational acceptance, and minimally inconsistent sets-- Induction, evidence, and conceptual change-- Reason and consistency-- Consensual rationality and scientific revolution-- Coherence and the hierarchy of method-- The knowledge cycle-- The coherence theory of knowledge-- Metaknowledge: Undefeated justification-- Metamind: Belief, consciousness, and intentionality-- Index.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
The essays in this book, published here as a collection for the first time, are unified by the thesis that freedom, rationality, social consensus, and knowledge depend on thoughts about thoughts, that is, on metamental operations. These provide for our optionality, plasticity, and most of all for the evaluation and control of lower-level information. The collection argues that the human mind is essentially a metamind. (source: Nielsen Book Data)