Cynthia Macdonald

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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‘Introspection’ is a term used by philosophers to refer to a special method or means by which one comes to know certain of one's own mental states; specifically, one's current conscious states. It derives from the Latin ‘spicere’, meaning ‘look’, and ‘intra’, meaning ‘within’; introspection is a process of looking inward. Introspectionist accounts of self-knowledge fall within the broader domain of theories of self-knowledge, understood as views about the nature of and basis for one's knowledge of one's own mental states, including one's beliefs, desires, conscious thinkings, and sensations. Theories of self-knowledge are motivated by the apparent need to account for a number of striking features of at least some such knowledge, which ordinary empirical knowledge, including knowledge of the mental states of others, is typically thought to lack.

Keywords: introspection; mental states; conscious states; self-knowledge; conscious thinkings; sensations

Article.  14091 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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