Introspection, Phenomenality and the Availability of Intentional Content

David Pitt

in Cognitive Phenomenology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199579938
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731112 | DOI:
Introspection, Phenomenality and the Availability of Intentional Content

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This paper defends the claim that there is a proprietary, distinctive and individuative phenomenology of occurrent conscious thought. It begins with an argument for this thesis that since other kinds of conscious states are individuated in phenomenal terms, the burden of proof lies with those theorists who deny that conscious thoughts can also be individuated in phenomenal terms. It then defends the phenomenology of thought thesis against three objections. The first objection is advanced by Joe Levine (this volume), who argues that the phenomenology of thought is not required in order to explain the introspection knowledge we have our own thoughts. The second argument takes its cue from extrospectionist views of self‐knowledge, such as those developed by (e.g.) Richard Moran and Fred Dretske, which, if true, would show that knowledge of our own thoughts does not require acquaintance with their phenomenal properties. The third objection that this chapter considers stems from concerns about the introspective availability of intentional content. The author argues that none of these challenges constitutes a serious threat to the thesis that the intentionality of thought is proprietarily phenomenally constituted.

Keywords: conscious thought; phenomenality; introspection; self‐knowledge; transparency; concepts

Chapter.  17446 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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