Introspecting phenomenal states

This paper defends a novel account of how we introspect phenomenal states, the Demonstrative Attention account (DA). First, I present a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for phenomenal state introspection which are not psychological, but purely metaphysical and semantic. Next, to explain how these conditions can be satisfied, I describe how demonstrative reference to a phenomenal content can be achieved through attention alone. This sort of introspective demonstration differs from perceptual demonstration in being non-causal. DA nicely explains key intuitions about phenomenal self-knowledge, makes possible an appealing diagnosis of blindsight cases, and yields a highly plausible view as to the extent of our first-person epistemic privilege. Because these virtues stem from construing phenomenal properties as non-relational features of states, my defense of DA constitutes a challenge to relational construals of phenomenal properties, including functionalism and representationalism. And I provide reason to doubt that they can meet this challenge
Keywords Condition  Epistemology  Knowledge  Metaphysics  Phenomenon  State
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00105.x
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
David M. Rosenthal (1986). Two Concepts of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Stephen Yablo (1992). Mental Causation. Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.

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