Neo-Ryleanism about self-understanding

Yair Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper aims to defend the standard view of what it dubs ‘Self-understanding’ — i.e. (very roughly) our knowledge of why we behave as we do — from the threat posed to it by Neo-Ryleanism. While the standard, entrenched view regards self-understanding as special in kind and status, the Neo-Rylean agrees with Gilbert Ryle that our method of understanding ourselves is much the same as our method of understanding others, involving self-interpretation on the basis of the available evidence. Neo-Ryleanism has been gaining ground in recent decades, fuelled by a wide range of empirical results which allegedly demonstrate that subjects confabulate items of self-understanding. The paper rejects this attack on the received view. After critically examining one extant response to the Neo-Rylean, which gratuitously accuses her of equivocation, the paper proceeds to offer its own response, casting doubt over the suggestion that the experimental results actually demonstrate widespread confabulation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1120/17


    • Neo-Ryleanism
    • Self-knowledge
    • confabulation
    • self-understanding


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