Consciousness and Self-Awareness

Jane Heal

in The Self and Self-Knowledge

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590650
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741043 | DOI:
Consciousness and Self-Awareness

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Does being in a phenomenally conscious state give its subject non-inferential justification for explicit self-ascription of the state? A plausible and simple hypothesis says yes. But the hypothesis cannot be right since a state which is unconscious in the Freudian sense, that is, unavowable, is not necessarily unconscious in the sense of lacking phenomenology. On the contrary, being unconsciously (= unavowably) fearful is a phenomenologically distinctive and unpleasant matter. To see how to improve the simple account we need to reflect on phenomenal consciousness and also on non-inferential justification. Such reflection reveals at least two different ways of developing the simple account, one starting from the suggestion that perception is self-specifying as well as world-specifying, the other invoking Wittgensteinian ideas of avowal.

Keywords: phenomenal consciousness; self-awareness; the Freudian unconscious; non-inferential justification; qualia; self-specifying perception; avowal; Peacocke

Chapter.  8171 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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