The Phenomenology of Consciously Thinking

David Woodruff Smith

in Cognitive Phenomenology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199579938
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731112 | DOI:
The Phenomenology of Consciously Thinking

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Cognitive phenomenology may be defined as the study of “cognitive” experiences as experienced, including consciously thinking, perceiving (sensory‐conceptual experience), judging (either self‐evidential or inferential), etc. The present study will address: (i) the phenomenality of consciously thinking, i.e. its “appearing” in consciousness, with a character of “what it is like” to so think; (ii) the intentionality of thinking, i.e. its character of being directed through a propositional content or “thought” toward a putative state of affairs; and (iii) the form of inner awareness commonly found in thinking, i.e. the character whereby one is immediately aware of one's so thinking. On the “modal” model of consciousness, an act of consciously thinking is phenomenally directed from the act, centered in its subject, through its meaning‐content toward its putative object with immediate awareness thereof. Several distinct “modal” characters will here be factored from the form of inner awareness: phenomenality, reflexivity, egocentricity, and temporal and spatial sensibility. On this account, phenomenality is not restricted to sensory experience bearing sensory “qualia.”

Keywords: consciousness; consciously thinking; content; demonstrative content; egocentricity; embodiment; inner awareness; intentionality; modal character; modality; perception; phenomenality; phenomenology; propositional content; qualia; reflexivity; sensation

Chapter.  13295 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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