Introspection without Judgment

Erkenntnis 86:407-427 (2021)
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Abstract

The focus of this paper is introspection of phenomenal states, i.e. the distinctively first-personal method through which one can form beliefs about the phenomenology of one’s current conscious mental states. I argue that two different kinds of phenomenal state introspection should be distinguished: one which involves recognizing and classifying the introspected phenomenal state as an instance of a certain experience type, and another which does not involve such classification. Whereas the former is potentially judgment-like, the latter is not. I call them, respectively, reflective introspection and primitive introspection. The purpose of this paper is to argue that primitive introspection is a psychologically real phenomenon. I first introduce the distinction and provide some preliminary motivation to accept it (§1). After some set-up considerations (§2), I present my central argument for the existence of a non-classificatory kind of introspective state (§3), what I call the ‘argument from phenomenal-concept acquisition’. Finally, I briefly present some reasons why my distinction may be important for various philosophical debates (§4).

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Author's Profile

Anna Giustina
Universitat de Valencia

Citations of this work

Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
Two Kinds of Introspection.Anna Giustina & Uriah Kriegel - 2022 - In Josh Weisberg (ed.), Qualitative Consciousness: Themes From the Philosophy of David Rosenthal. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Introspection of Emotions.Bertille De Vlieger & Anna Giustina - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (3):551-580.
How You Know You’re Conscious: Illusionism and Knowledge of Things.Matt Duncan - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (1):185-205.

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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