Chapter

A Simple Theory of Introspection

Declan Smithies

in Introspection and Consciousness

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744794
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933396 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744794.003.0010

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

A Simple Theory of Introspection

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This chapter develops a simple theory of introspection, according to which one has introspective access to the fact that one is in a certain mental state just by virtue of being in that mental state. This raises two questions. First, there is a generalization question: which mental states are introspectively accessible? And second, there is an explanatory question: why are some mental states introspectively accessible, rather than others, or none at all? In response to the generalization question, the chapter argues that a mental state is introspectively accessible if and only if it is phenomenally individuated. And in response to the explanatory question, the chapter argues that a mental state is introspectively accessible if and only if it is among the determinants of justification. This provides the basis of an argument for a phenomenal conception of justification, according to which a mental state is among the determinants of justification if and only if it is phenomenally individuated.

Keywords: introspection; self-knowledge; rationality; justification; phenomenal consciousness; self-intimation; infallibility; accessibility; constitutivism

Chapter.  15675 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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