In Patrick Wilken, Timothy J. Bayne & Axel Cleeremans (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press 76-111 (2009)
Alas, things are not quite so simple. As James implies, the term ‘introspection’ literally means ‘looking within’, but of course we do not visually inspect the interiors of our crania. What unites proponents of introspection is the claim that we can recognize our own mental states through some sort of attention—a non-visual ‘looking’—whose immediate objects are thoughts or sensations within oneself, in a non-spatial sense of ‘within’. (The term ‘introspection’ is occasionally given an ecumenical gloss, to refer to any method of knowing one’s own mental states, and not just self-directed attention. But the more restrictive use is standard, and provides the topic of the current entry.) As we will see, some contemporary philosophers and psychologists doubt that any such introspective process underlies self-knowledge.
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