One of the main strands of the Cartesian tradition is the view that the mental realm is cognitively accessible to us in a special way: whenever one is in a mental state of a certain sort, one can know it just by considering the matter. In that sense, the mental realm is thought to be a cognitive home for us, and the mental states it comprises are luminous. Recently, however, Timothy Williamson has argued that we are cognitively homeless: no mental state is in fact luminous. But his argument depends on an excessively strong account of luminosity. I formulate a weaker conception of luminosity that is unaffected by Williamson's argument and yet is substantial enough to satisfy those who wish to retain this part of the Cartesian tradition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences