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Ms. Sophie Keeling 

Post Graduate Researcher (PGR)

Ms. Sophie Keeling's photo

Ms. Sophie Keeling is a Post Graduate Researcher (PGR) within Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

I hold a BA in English Literature and Philosophy from Cardiff University and an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of Warwick. Having developed a background in both subjects, I decided that my interests lay primarily in philosophy, and specifically the philosophy of mind and self-knowledge.

Research interests

I am currently looking at self-knowledge (and how we lack it!). Traditionally, both philosophers and folk alike have thought that we can learn of our mental states in a distinctive way – that is, we have privileged access to our minds but not others’. This claim, though, has received scrutiny of late, and so I am considering it afresh. In doing so, I focus on self-knowledge of why we have our attitudes (e.g. beliefs, desires, intentions). This is a matter of what explains the subject’s having the attitude. It might be their motivating reason for their belief that p, say – the reason for which they believe that p – or alternatively a purely causal explanatory reason – e.g. that they are biased.

In the thesis I examine self-knowledge of why we have our attitudes by way of what I term the ‘problem cases’ for self-knowledge – ignorance and error about our minds, and irrationality. My main questions are:

  • What do the problem cases indicate regarding self-knowledge?
  • Do they provide  reason for thinking that it is distinctive, is not distinctive, or are they neutral on the  issue?

This term I will be leading a seminar group as part of the first year Ethics module.

Ms. Sophie Keeling
Student Office, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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