In 'windowless Chambers'

Inquiry 41 (1):3-20 (1998)
Taking exception to Gilbert Ryle's influentially ironical remark about introspection, that it would be like peering into a 'windowless chamber illuminated by a very peculiar sort of light, and one to which only he [the one attempting the introspecting] has access', this essay claims that introspective awareness of one's actions and motivations in their chronological sequence is not empty but highly informative, not trivial but inseparable from any significant life, and not hopeless but entirely feasible. It is argued that informative and significant introspective awareness is a practice which ought to be as unbroken as possible, not fetched into consciousness or dismissed therefrom at whim in discrete quanta. Philosophers of mind for whom self-awareness is a surd will, however, naturally be inclined to attend to it reluctantly, thus without the requisite persistence, and without understanding it to be a skilled practice. This essay offers a preliminary map of the territory of introspection, which it defines under the heading of 'inner space and inner time.' It shows what sorts of conceptual clarifications are to be gained by the introspective practice it recommends, what responsibilities grasped, and what missteps avoided
Keywords Introspection  Mental  Metaphysics  Self  Ryle, G
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DOI 10.1080/002017498321904
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