Neuro Humanities Studies

Uriah Kriegel,

A Hesitant Defense of Introspection

Source: Philosophical Studies 165
Year: 2013
Topics: Consciousness; Cognition;
Disciplines: Phenomenology;

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Consider the following argument: When a phenomenon P is observable, any legitimate understanding of P must take account of observations of P; some mental phenomena – certain conscious experiences – are introspectively observable; so, any legitimate understanding of the mind must take account of introspective observations of conscious experiences. This paper offers a (preliminary and partial) defense of this line of thought. Much of the paper focuses on a specific challenge to it, which I call Schwitzgebel’s Challenge: the claim that introspection is so untrustworthy that its indispensability for a genuine understanding of the mind only shows that no genuine understanding of the mind is possible.


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