Chapter

Introspection about Phenomenal Consciousness: Running the Gamut from Infallibility to Impotence

Terry Horgan

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/9780199744794.003.0015

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Introspection about Phenomenal Consciousness: Running the Gamut from Infallibility to Impotence

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This chapter’s project is to critically scrutinize the idea that because the intrinsic character of phenomenal consciousness is self-presenting, introspection concerning current phenomenal character is an extremely reliable belief-forming process, perhaps even an infallible one. The chapter argues that there are (at least) three kinds of introspectively produced phenomenal beliefs: (1) ones that are especially reliable, (2) ones that are outright infallible, and (3) ones that are not reliable on the basis of introspection alone. To illustrate type (3), the chapter argues that introspection by itself is virtually impotent as way to form certain sorts of beliefs about the intrinsic character of agentive phenomenology.

Keywords: phenomenal consciousness; phenomenal beliefs; self-presenting beliefs; introspective reliability; introspective infallibility; introspective impotence; agentive phenomenology

Chapter.  7550 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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