Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (9-10):141-156 (2003)

Authors
Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
Introspective reports are used as sources of information about other minds, in both everyday life and science. Many scientists and philosophers consider this practice unjustified, while others have made the untestable assumption that introspection is a truthful method of private observation. I argue that neither skepticism nor faith concerning introspective reports are warranted. As an alternative, I consider our everyday, commonsensical reliance on each other’s introspective reports. When we hear people talk about their minds, we neither refuse to learn from nor blindly accept what they say. Sometimes we accept what we are told, other times we reject it, and still other times we take the report, revise it in light of what we believe, then accept the modified version. Whatever we do, we have (implicit) reasons for it. In developing a sound methodology for the scientific use of introspective reports, we can take our commonsense treatment of introspective reports and make it more explicit and rigorous. We can discover what to infer from introspective reports in a way similar to how we do it every day, but with extra knowledge, methodological care, and precision. Sorting out the use of introspective reports as sources of data is going to be a painstaking, piecemeal task, but it promises to enhance our science of the mind and brain.
Keywords Common Sense  Introspection  Methodology  Mind  Science
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References found in this work BETA

Saving the Phenomena.James Bogen & James Woodward - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
Neural Correlates of the First-Person Perspective.Kai Vogeley & Gereon R. Fink - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):38-42.
The Recognition of Mentalistic Agents in Infancy.Susan C. Johnson - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1):22-28.

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Citations of this work BETA

Old Problems with New Measures in the Science of Consciousness.Elizabeth Irvine - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):627-648.
The Validity of First-Person Descriptions as Authenticity and Coherence.Claire Petitmengin - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (10-12):10-12.
First-Person Experiments: A Characterisation and Defence.Brentyn Ramm - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9:449–467.

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