We have seen two basic approaches to explaining self-knowledge and selfawareness: empiricist and rationalist. There are, of course, wide variations within each of these camps. And there are other divisions among these theories, which would yield alternative classiﬁcations. But the distinction between empiricism and rationalism marks an especially profound disparity. These two approaches represent fundamentally diﬀerent outlooks on the problems of self-knowledge and self-awareness. Because rationalists allow that empiricist theories are correct as regards
some types of self-knowledge, the rationalist bears a special dialectical burden: he must show that there is another type of self-knowledge, critical self-knowledge, which empiricist theories cannot explain. In this chapter, I will evaluate the principal rationalist arguments for this claim. Since one of these arguments employs the rational agency account of self-awareness, I will also discuss rationalism about self-awareness (discussed in 7.7 above). My conclusion is that these arguments do not establish that empiricism is inadequate. Given the special burden borne by rationalism, I conclude that the dialectical situation favors the empiricist approach to self-knowledge (and perhaps also to selfawareness).