Introspection and perception

Topoi 7 (March):25-30 (1988)
Abstract
  Sydney Shoemaker argues that introspection, unlike perception, provides no identification information about the self, and that knowledge of one''s mental states should be conceived as arising in a direct and unmediated fashion from one''s being in those states. I argue that while one does not identify aself as the subject of one''s states, one does frequently identify and misidentify thestates, in ways analogous to the identification of objects in perception, and that in discourse about one''s mental states the self plays the role of external reality in discourse about physical objects. Discourse about any sort of entity or property can be viewed as involving a domain or frame of reference which constrains what can be said about the entities; this view is related to Johnson-Laird''s theory of mental models. On my approach evidence, including sensory evidence, may be involved in decisions about one''s mental states. I conclude that while Shoemaker may well be right about different roles for sense impressions in introspection and perception, the exact differences and their significance remain to be established
Keywords Introspection  Metaphysics  Perception  Philosophical Psychology  Sensation
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