Renewed Acquaintance

In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123 (2012)
I will elaborate and defend a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what I call the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. In Section 1 of the paper I outline the acquaintance approach by drawing on its Russellian lineage. A more detailed picture of the approach emerges in succeeding sections, which respond to a range of objections. Some critics charge that approaches of this sort are overly idealized, in that they ignore the cognitive flaws and limitations of actual human beings. I begin to address these worries in Section 2, by arguing that the epistemic commitments of the acquaintance approach are in fact relatively modest. In Section 3, I sketch a picture of introspective reference that explains how phenomenal reality can intersect with the epistemic in a phenomenal judgment, as the acquaintance approach requires. Drawing on this picture of introspective reference, Section 4 sets out a practical strategy for achieving knowledge by acquaintance. Some contemporary acquaintance theorists (BonJour 2003, Fumerton 1996) employ demanding epistemic standards for knowledge by acquaintance, standards beyond those mandated by the acquaintance approach. In Section 5 I show that instances of introspective knowledge that meet less demanding standards can satisfy the acquaintance approach’s epistemic commitments. The final sections concern the most direct challenges to the acquaintance approach, which target the claim that phenomenal reality intersects with the epistemic. According to one such challenge, this claim is belied fact that possessing a phenomenal concept is a matter of having certain dispositions. Section 6 draws on a discussion by Sosa (2003) to articulate this challenge, and responds to it on behalf of the acquaintance approach. Section 7 addresses Stalnaker’s (2008) worry that, if phenomenal reality intersected with the epistemic, phenomenal information would be incommunicable.
Keywords Introspection  Acquaintance  Phenomenal concepts
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Brie Gertler, Renewed Acquaintance
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matt Duncan (2015). We Are Acquainted with Ourselves. Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2531-2549.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Katalin Balog (2009). Phenomenal Concepts. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312.
Katalin Balog (2012). Acquaintance and the Mind-Body Problem. In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16.
Tim Bayne (2001). Chalmers on the Justification of Phenomenal Judgments. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):407 - 419.
Jennifer Vaughan Taylor (2008). Acquaintance and Possible Worlds. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):393-400.
Nathan Ballantyne (2012). Acquaintance and Assurance. Philosophical Studies 161 (3):421-431.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

125 ( #35,365 of 1,925,262 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #18,120 of 1,925,262 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.