Two Minutes with Dr. Yahya: The Arab Manifesto: Self and Mind Knowledge


Two Minutes with Dr. Yahya

The Arab Manifesto: Self and Mind Knowledge

(Originally written by: Prof. Hasan Yahya, Ph.Ds between 1994 and 2005)

The Arab American Encyclopedia-AAE

Models of Knowing One’s Self  

In philosophy, “knowing one’s self” or ‘self-knowledge’ commonly refers to knowledge of one’s particular mental states, including one’s beliefs, desires, and sensations. It is also sometimes used to refer to knowledge about a persisting self—its ontological nature, identity conditions, or character traits. At least since Descartes, most philosophers have believed that self-knowledge is importantly different from knowledge of the world external to oneself, including others’ thoughts. But there is little agreement about what precisely distinguishes self-knowledge from knowledge in other realms. Partially because of this disagreement, philosophers have endorsed competing accounts of how we acquire self-knowledge. These accounts have important consequences for the scope of mental content, for mental ontology, and for personal identity.

Flags: The Arab States

Flags: The Arab States

Concerning models of self, five theories perceive self knowledge differently. For example, The Unmediated Observation Model which most current views define themselves against is associated with Descartes. The Unmediated Observation model of self-knowledge attributed to him holds that we observe our own thoughts. However, those who believe in self-foundation claim that all of our knowledge rests on a foundation of beliefs that are justified, but not justified by other beliefs. Which I believe is true. According to the model is conducive to foundationalism in that it provides for highly secure self-attributions, which could form part of the epistemic foundation.

The Inner Sense Model,Unlike Unmediated Observation model, seeks to minimize the anomalousness and associated mystery of self-knowledge by construing introspection as fundamentally similar to perception. Locke, an early champion of the Inner Sense model, described the introspective faculty as follows.

The Rationality Mode. Proponents of this model, reject the notion that self-knowledge consists in introspective access to evidence, or perception-like reliability. But this rejection leaves room for an alternative epistemic analysis of self-knowledge. Requiring an excessively high degree of rationality threatens to trivialize the model. For the more rational subjects are, the less surprising it is that they are self-aware.

When one becomes aware of one’s own mental states by attending to features of the world external to oneself, the Transparency Model  in contrast with Inner Sense view,  denies that there is a perception-like mechanism which is directed inward. Instead,  the self-knowledge that the model accounts for requires an outward rather than an inward look. Dretske expresses this by saying that self-knowledge is “a form of perceptual knowledge that is obtained—indeed, can only be obtained—by awareness of non-mental objects” (Dretske 1994, 264).

A main  difference between self-knowledge and perceptual knowledge, on Shoemaker’s account, is that the former is “immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun”(Shoemaker 1968). Shoemaker (1994) offers a version of the Rationality model which is only partially epistemic. He argues that no rational person who had the concepts ‘belief’, ‘desire’,‘pain’, etc., could be incapable of self-knowledge—in his terms, “self-blind”. For a self-blind person would not function as a normal, rational person. He would (i) fall into certain conceptual errors, such as asserting transparency-violating sentences (“It’s raining but I believe that it isn’t raining”); (ii) lack the ability to share his beliefs with others, and hence to engage in cooperative endeavors; (iii) be devoid of true agency, since agency involves higher-order deliberation regarding lower-order states; and (iv) regard himself “as a stranger”, e.g., in observing his own pain-avoidance behavior without grasping his own pain.

The Expressive Model is non-epistemic model,  It highlights the similarity between self-attributions and other modes of self-expression, such as shouting “waw!” or“ooh!” or “I like  that!” These expressions or performances have no propositional content; they cannot be true or false. Furthermore, pure Expressivism, holds that self-attributions that appear to be propositional—such as“I am happy”, “I am in pain”, and “I want that”—are extremes  devoid of propositional content, but express one’s mental states in much the same way that shouting“yay!” expresses joy, and blushing expresses embarrassment,

The last model on self knowledge in the literature, is The Commitment Model, where epistemic accounts seek to provide an epistemological picture that meshes with the special—in some cases, only slightly special—epistemic character of self-knowledge. Explaining this model,  as I conceive of myself as a rational agent, my awareness of my belief is awareness of my commitment to its truth, a commitment to something that transcends any description of my psychological state. (Moran 1997, 151)

In fact, the Commitment model shares with other non-epistemic models the challenge of accommodating the strong intuition that what differentiates self-knowledge from knowledge in other realms is, first and foremost, an epistemic feature. For instance, it might be argued that an epistemic model will best explain what is special about self-knowledge, while the Commitment model pertains to distinct issues. These issues include: what is involved, conceptually and psychologically, in reflecting on one’s attitudes considered as one’s own; and what is required for avoiding self-alienation or maintaining agential integrity. (825 words) . www.hasanyahya.com

About Arab American Encyclopedia-USA - Hasan Yahya

HASAN YAHYA was born at a small village called Majdal-YaFa (Majdal Sadiq) in Mandate Palestine (1944). He migrated as a refugee to Mes-ha, a village east of Kufr Qasim, west of Nablus (in the West Bank), then moved with his family to Zarka, 25 km north of Amman – Jordan. He finished the high school at Zarka Secondary School, 1963. He was appointed as a teacher in the same year. Studied Law first at Damascus University, then B.A from Lebanon University in Arabic literature and Eastern Cultures (1975). He moved to Kuwait. Where he got married in 1967. He was working at Kuwait Television, taught at bilingual School, and Kuwait University. In 1982, Hasan left to the United States to continue his education at Michigan State University. He got the Master Degree in 1983, the Ph.D degree in 1988 in Education (Psychology of Administration ). In 1991, He obtained his post degree in Social research, the result was a second Ph.D degree in Comparative sociology-Social Psychology. He was the only Arab student who enrolled ever to pursue two simultaneous Ph.D programs from Michigan State University and fulfill their requirements perfectly. Professor Yahya employment history began as a supervisor of a joint project to rehabilitate Youth (inmates out of prison) by Michigan State University and Intermediate School Districts. Worked also as a Teacher Assistant and lecturer in the same university. He was offered a position at Lansing Community College as well as Jackson Community College where he was assistant professor, then associate professor, then full professor (1991-2006). He taught Sociology, psychology, education, criminology and research methods. He supervised 19 Master and Ph.D candidates on various personal, economic psychological and social development topics. Professor Yahya published Hundreds (1000 Plus on this site) of articles and research reports in local, regional, and international journals. His interest covers local, regional and global conflicts. He also authored, translated, edited and published over 280 plus books in several languages, in almost all fields especial education, sociology and psychology. These books can be found on Amazon and Kindle. He also, was a visiting professor at Eastern Michigan University to give Research Methods and Conflict Management courses. Prof. Yahya accepted an offer to join Zayed University Faculty Team in 1998, then he served as the Head of Education and Psychology Department at Ajman University of Science and Technology 2001-04. Dr. Yahya established several institutes in Diaspora, the Arab American Encyclopedia, Ihyaa al Turath al Arabi Project, (Revival of Arab Heritage in Diaspora.Recently he was nominated for honorary committee member for the Union of Arab and Muslim Writers in America. He was affiliated with sociological associations and was a member of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) at USA. Social Activities and Community Participation: Dr. Yahya was a national figure on Diversity and Islamic Issues in the United States, with special attention to Race Relations and Psychology of Assimilation (generations 1,2 &3). He was invited as a public speaker to many TV shows and interviews in many countries. His philosophy includes enhancing knowledge to appreciate the others, and to compromise with others in order to live peacefully with others. This philosophy was the backgrounds of his theory, called “ Theory C. of Conflict Management”. And developed later to a Science of Cultural Normalization under the title: “Crescentology. The results of such theory will lead to world peace depends on a global Knowledge, Understanding, appreciation, and Compromising (KUAC)” Recently Prof. Yahya started "Publish your book FREE Project", to serve young Arab Writers. Dr. Yahya accepted the offer to be the chief editor of the International Humanities Studies Journal -I-H-S-Jerusalem, since July 2014. (Revised Sept. 2014) ولد الدكتور حسن عبدالقادر يحيى في مجدل يابا من أعمال يافا – فلسطين عام 1944. تلقى علومه الابتدائية في مدرسة بديا الأميرية في الضفة الغربية أيام احتوائها ضمن المملكة الأدردنية الهاشمية وتخرج في جامعة بيروت حاملاً الإجازة في اللغة العربية وآدابها، ودبلوم التأهيل التربوي من كلية القديس يوسف بلبنان، ودبلوم الدراسات العليا (الماجستير) ودكتوراة في الإدارة التربوية من جامعة ولاية ميشيغان بالولايات المتحدة عام 1988، وشهادة الدكتوراه في علم الاجتماع المقارن من الجامعة نفسها عام 1991. عمل في التدريس والصحافة الأدبية. أديب وشاعر وقاص ، ,كما عمل في تلفزيون الكويت الرسمي كمعد ومنسق برامج ثم اتجه إلى الكتابة والتأليف في علوم كثيرة تخص علمي النفس والاجتماع والتنمية البشرية ، والتغير الاجتماعي والسكان وألف ونشر العديد من المقالات (1000 +) والكتب باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية (أكثر من 330 كتابا) ، منها ست مجموعات قصصية وست كتب للأطفال ، وأربع دواوين شعرية باللغتين أيضا. وعدد من كتب التراث في الشعر والأدب والأخلاق الإسلامية والتربية والأديان . وهو الآن أستاذ متقاعد في جامعة ولاية ميشيغان. . وكان عضوا سابقا في جمعية العلماء المسلمين في أمريكا . وجمعية علماء الاجتماع الأمريكية - ميشيغان، وهو مؤسس الموسوعة العربية الأمريكية في الولايات المتحدة ضمن مشروع إحياء التراث العربي في بلاد المهجرز كما تم ترشيحه مؤخرا ليكون عضو مجلس التحرير لمجلة الدراسات الإنسانية العالمية. وقد قبل أن يتسلم رئاسة تحريرها اعتبارا من نهاية يونيو 2014 His email: askdryahya@yahoo.com Thank you!
This entry was posted in Arab American Encyclopedia, Arab Manifesto, Crescentology, Disability, Dryahyatv, Global Affairs, Ibn Khaldun ابن خلدون،, Knowledge Base, Philosophy & Logic, Project Management., psychology, Religions and Spirts, Research Methods, Science, socio-therapy, Sociology, www.hasanyahya.com, YNA, الفلاسفة العرب،, حضارة عرب،, علوم وأدب and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s