David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Epistemological Foundations of Consciousness Research. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 7 (5):3-22 (2000)
Consciousness researchers standardly rely on their subjects’ verbal reports to ascertain which conscious states they are in. What justifies this reliance on verbal reports? Does it comport with the third-person approach characteristic of science, or does it ultimately appeal to first-person knowledge of consciousness? If first-person knowledge is required, does this pass scientific muster? Several attempts to rationalize the reliance on verbal reports are considered, beginning with attempts to define consciousness via the higher-order thought approach and functionalism. These approaches are either problematic in their own right, or ultimately based on a first-person access to consciousness. A third approach assumes that scientists can trust verbal reports because subjects reliably monitor or ‘introspect’ their conscious states. This raises the question of whether the reliability of introspection can be validated by independent criteria. Merikle's attempts to validate this reliability are shown to involve some unavoidable circularity. It is conjectured that scientists’ reliance on their subjects’ verbal reports tacitly appeals to their own introspective reliability, which is not independently validatable. Some epistemologists might conclude that this renders scientists’ conclusions about conscious states unjustified, but I argue that this does not contravene the constraints of a proper epistemology
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael V. Antony (2008). Are Our Concepts Conscious State and Conscious Creature Vague? Erkenntnis 68 (2):239 - 263.
David M. Rosenthal (2002). Consciousness and Higher-Order Thought. In L. Nagel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
Peter Carruthers (2006). Conscious Experience Versus Conscious Thought. In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Consciousness and Self-Reference. MIT Press.
Ram L. P. Vimal (2010). Consciousness, Non-Conscious Experiences and Functions, Proto-Experiences and Proto-Functions, and Subjective Experiences. Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (3):383-389.
John L. Tienson (1987). Brains Are Not Conscious. Philosophical Papers 16 (November):187-93.
Gene M. Heyman (2004). The Sense of Conscious Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):663-664.
Jesse J. Prinz (2010). When is Perception Conscious? In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press. 310--332.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads51 ( #36,929 of 1,413,160 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #94,196 of 1,413,160 )
How can I increase my downloads?