The rationalist-agential theory, claims that the normative and epistemic aspects of what it is to know oneself cannot be separated: knowing one's beliefs and cognitions is always a form of normative relation.
This theory is typically considered a newcomer in philosophy, the origins of which lie, earliest, in Kant. The project shows that because the main theories on self-knowledge have long been of the latter, observationalist variety, also the historical research of these discussions has one-sidedly looked for arguments of the same variety.
The three features that compose the core ideas we are looking for are 1) Self-knowledge of our mental states is not an observation-like process of direct acquaintance but, rather, a rational achievement. 2) The objects of this kind of knowledge are not detected, but the process of self-attribution contributes or constitutes those very states. 3) The basic relationship of a person to his or her own mental states is authority and agency