Agentive awareness is not sensory awareness

Philosophical Studies 172 (3):761-780 (2015)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the conscious awareness one has of oneself as acting, i.e., agentive awareness, is not a type of sensory awareness. After providing some set up in Sect. 1, I move on in Sect. 2 to sketch a profile of sensory agentive experiences as representational states with sensory qualities by which we come to be aware of ourselves as performing actions. In Sect. 3, I critique two leading arguments in favor of positing such sensory experiences: the argument from pathology and the argument from cognitive impenetrability. Since neither of these arguments succeeds, the case for positing SAEs is dealt a significant blow. I proceed in Sect. 4 to advance my positive argument against SAEs. The argument runs as follows: If SAEs exist, then they must exist in some sensory modality or set of sensory modalities. Either the relevant sensory modalities are ones that we already recognize, or they are novel sensory modalities. I will argue that neither of these options is workable, and so we have nowhere to locate SAEs. Agentive awareness is not sensory awareness

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Myrto Mylopoulos
Carleton University

Citations of this work

Recent Issues in High-Level Perception.Grace Helton - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):851-862.
Visually Perceiving the Intentions of Others.Grace Helton - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):243-264.
The sense/cognition distinction.Michelle Montague - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (2):229-245.

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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.
A Materialist Theory of the Mind.D. M. Armstrong - 1968 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Ted Honderich.
The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
The Illusion of Conscious Will.Daniel M. Wegner - 2002 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

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