About the author: Dr. Eivind Balsvik is a Senior Lecturer in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Oslo, Norway. He studied at the University of Miami (PhD, 2002), the University of Bergen (MA), and the University of Oslo (BA). He has also been an Erasmus student at the University of Edinburgh. His current research interest is in the philosophy of the social sciences.2003 0-7734-6545-6
First-person authority is the thesis that subjects have a privileged non-evidence-based form of epistemic warrant for self-ascriptions of psychological concepts that does not attach to third-person evidence-based ascriptions of the same concepts. Davidson thinks the fact that we do have first-person authority over self-ascriptions of psychological concepts gives rise to two connected philosophical problems. The epistemic problem: How can non-evidence based self-ascriptions of psychological concepts be more justified than third-person ascriptions that are evidentially based? The skeptical problem: Why are we warranted in thinking that the psychological concepts we ascribe to ourselves without appeal to evidence are the same as the corresponding psychological concepts others ascribe to us on the basis of evidence?