Phenomenal transparency and cognitive self‐reference

Author: Metzinger, Thomas

Source: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Volume 2, Number 4, 2003 , pp. 353-393(41)

Publisher: Springer

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A representationalist analysis of strong first‐person phenomena is developed (Baker 1998), and it is argued that conscious, cognitive self‐reference can be naturalized under this representationalist analysis. According to this view, the phenomenal first‐person perspective is a condition of possibility for the emergence of a cognitive first‐person perspective. Cognitive self‐reference always is reference to the phenomenal content of a transparent self‐model. The concepts of phenomenal transparency and introspection are clarified. More generally, I suggest that the concepts of “phenomenal opacity” and “phenomenal transparency” are interesting instruments for analyzing conscious, self‐representational content, and that their relevance in understanding reflexive, i.e., cognitive subjectivity may have been overlooked in the past.

Keywords: consciousness; epistemic transparency; phenomenal transparency; representation; self‐consciousness; self‐model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophisches Seminar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany, Email: metzinger@uni‐

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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