Phenomenal epistemology: What is consciousness that we may know it so well?

Philosophical Issues 17 (1):123-144 (2007)
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Abstract

It has often been thought that our knowledge of ourselves is _different_ from, perhaps in some sense _better_ than, our knowledge of things other than ourselves. Indeed, there is a thriving research area in epistemology dedicated to seeking an account of self-knowledge that would articulate and explain its difference from, and superiority over, other knowledge. Such an account would thus illuminate the descriptive and normative difference between self-knowledge and other knowledge.<sup>1</sup> At the same time, self- knowledge has also encountered its share of skeptics – philosophers who refuse to accord it any descriptive, let alone normative, distinction. In this paper, we argue that there is at least one _species_ of self-knowledge that is different from, and better than, other knowledge. It is a specific kind of knowledge of one’s concurrent phenomenal experiences. Call knowledge of one’s own phenomenal experiences _phenomenal knowledge_. Our claim is that some (though not all) phenomenal knowledge is different from, and better than, non-phenomenal knowledge. In other

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Uriah Kriegel
Rice University

Citations of this work

Self-Knowledge.Brie Gertler - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Renewed Acquaintance.Brie Gertler - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123.
Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
The Significance of High-Level Content.Nicholas Silins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):13-33.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.

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