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Introspective Knowledge of Experience and Its Role in Consciousness Studies

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Abstract:

In response to Petitmengin and Bitbol's recent account of first-person methodologies in the study of consciousness, I provide a revised model of our introspective knowledge of our own conscious experience. This model, which I call the existential constitution model of phenomenal knowledge, avoids the problems that Petitmengin and Bitbol identify with standard observational models of introspection while also avoiding an underlying metaphorical misconception in their own proximity model, which misconstrues first-person knowledge of consciousness in terms of a dichotomous epistemic relationship. The end result is a clearer understanding of the unique nature and epistemic properties of our knowledge of consciousness, as well as the epistemic status of subsequent first-person reports on conscious experience.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Central Arkansas, 224 Harrin Hall, Conway, AR, 72035, USA, Email: jbutler@uca.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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