Disagreement about Cognitive Phenomenology

Maja Spener

in Cognitive Phenomenology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199579938
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731112 | DOI:
Disagreement about Cognitive Phenomenology

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The debate concerning the phenomenology of thought is marked by severe disagreement about how best to characterize a given conscious thought on the basis of introspective reflecting upon it. In this paper I focus on the fact of this introspection‐based disagreement—in particular, on its epistemic import for participants in the debate. How ought these philosophers respond when facing such radical disagreement about the deliverance of introspection? I argue that the fact of such disagreement itself should lead participants to be less confident—or even to suspend judgement—in their own introspection‐based claims. If that is right, then to the extent that the debate about the phenomenology of thought is carried out by appeal to introspective evidence, this constitutes a serious epistemological concern. At the very least, if this is the epistemically appropriate response, non‐trivial reliance of introspective evidence in the debate comes under pressure.

Keywords: introspection; methodology; disagreement; phenomenal character; epistemically appropriate response; concilionationism; steadfastness; cognitive phenomenology

Chapter.  8174 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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