The Phenomenology of Cognition, Or, What Is It Like to Think That P?

A number of philosophers endorse, without argument, the view that there’s something it’s like consciously to think that p, which is distinct from what it’s like consciously to think that q. This thesis, if true, would have important consequences for philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In this paper I offer two arguments for it. The first argument claims it would be impossible introspectively to distinguish conscious thoughts with respect to their content if there weren’t something it’s like to think them. This argument is defended against several objections. The second argument uses what I call “minimal pair” experiences—sentences read without and with understanding—to induce in the reader an experience of the kind I claim exists. Further objects are considered and rebutted.
Keywords Consciousness  Intentionality  Phenomenology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2004.tb00382.x
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References found in this work BETA
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

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Citations of this work BETA
David Bourget (2015). The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):n/a-n/a.
Elijah Chudnoff (2015). Phenomenal Contrast Arguments for Cognitive Phenomenology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):82-104.
Peter Carruthers (2010). Introspection: Divided and Partly Eliminated. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):76-111.

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