Matt Duncan
Rhode Island College
Most people believe that consciousness is real. But illusionists say it isn’t—they say consciousness is an illusion. One common illusionist strategy for defending their view involves a debunking argument. They explain why people believe that consciousness exists in a way that doesn’t imply that it does exist; and, in so doing, they aim to show that that belief is unjustified. In this paper I argue that we can know consciousness exists even if these debunking arguments are sound. To do this, I draw on the claim that some knowledge is constituted, not by beliefs in propositions, but by awareness of properties and objects. Then I argue that accepting this claim allows us to evade illusionists’ debunking arguments by allowing us to hold that our knowledge of consciousness does not depend solely on potentially debunked beliefs in consciousness. Finally, while considering potential illusionist responses, I suggest that my strategy also yields a plausible account of our most basic knowledge of consciousness and an explanation for why so few people accept illusionism even when they have no decisive reply to illusionists’ arguments.
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-021-00590-1
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Intuition of Revelation.Michelle Liu - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):99-107.
Appearance, Reality, and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Giovanni Merlo - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):120-130.

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Reasoning with Knowledge of Things.Matt Duncan - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-22.

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