Inference and Consciousness

London: Routledge (2019)
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Abstract

Inference has long been a concern in epistemology, as an essential means by which we extend our knowledge and test our beliefs. Inference is also a key notion in influential psychological or philosophical accounts of mental capacities, from perception via utterance comprehension to problem-solving. Consciousness, on the other hand, has arguably been the defining interest of philosophy of mind over recent decades. Comparatively little attention, however, has been devoted to the significance of consciousness for the proper understanding of the nature and role of inference. It is commonly suggested that inference may be either conscious or unconscious. Yet how unified are these various supposed instances of inference? Does either enjoy explanatory priority in relation to the other? In what ways or senses, can an inference be conscious, or fail to be conscious, and how does this matter? This book brings together original essays from established scholars and emerging theorists that illustrate how several current debates in epistemology, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of mind can benefit from reflections on these and related questions about the significance of consciousness for inference. Contributors include: Kirk Ludwig and Wade Munroe; Michael Rescorla; Federico Bongiorno and Lisa Bortolotti; Berit Brogaard; Nicholas Allott; Jake Quilty-Dunn and Eric Mandelbaum; Corine Besson; Anders Nes; David Henderson, Terry Horgan, and Matjaž Potrč; Elijah Chudnoff; and Ram Neta.

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Timothy Chan
Oxford University (DPhil)

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