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Mental Action and Self-Awareness

In Jonathan D. Cohen & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell (2006)

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  1. Cotard Syndrome, Self-Awareness, and I-Concepts.Rocco Joseph Gennaro - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (1):1-20.
    Various psychopathologies of self-awareness, such as somatoparaphrenia and thought insertion in schizophrenia, might seem to threaten the viability of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness since it requires a HOT about one’s own mental state to accompany every conscious state. The HOT theory of consciousness says that what makes a mental state a conscious mental state is that there is a HOT to the effect that “I am in mental state M.” I have argued in previous work that a (...)
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  • Una Teoría Del Concepto de Primera Persona.Javier Vidal - 2016 - Análisis Filosófico 36 (2):171-198.
    Siguiendo la aproximación de Peacocke a la naturaleza de los conceptos, este artículo presenta una teoría del concepto de primera persona en términos de su condición de posesión. Propongo que tal condición de posesión es cuestión de, necesariamente, estar dispuesto a realizar un juicio de orden superior con el contenido cuando uno tiene un pensamiento consciente con el contenido. Consecuentemente, intento motivar y defender esta concepción respondiendo a supuestos contraejemplos. Adicionalmente, proporciono una teoría de la determinación del valor semántico respecto (...)
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  • Ako a čím sa od seba odlišujú slabo, stredne a silne usmernené procesy.Robert Burgan - 2012 - E-Logos 19 (1):1-31.
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  • Active Belief.Matthew Boyle - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1):119-147.
    I argue that cognitively mature human beings have an important sort of control or discretion over their own beliefs, but that to make good sense of this control, we must reject the common idea that it consists in a capacity to act on our belief-state by forming new beliefs or modifying ones we already hold. I propose that we exercise agential control over our beliefs, not primarily in doing things to alter our belief-state, but in holding whatever beliefs we hold. (...)
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  • Episodic Memory as Representing the Past to Oneself.Robert Hopkins - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (3):313-331.
    Episodic memory is sometimes described as mental time travel. This suggests three ideas: that episodic memory offers us access to the past that is quasi-experiential, that it is a source of knowledge of the past, and that it is, at root, passive. I offer an account of episodic memory that rejects all three ideas. The account claims that remembering is a matter of representing the past to oneself, in a way suitably responsive to how one experienced the remembered episode to (...)
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  • Epistemic Agency and Metacognition: An Externalist View.Joëlle Proust - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):241-268.
    Controlling one's mental agency encompasses two forms of metacognitive operations, self-probing and post-evaluating. Metacognition so defined might seem to fuel an internalist view of epistemic norms, where rational feelings are available to instruct a thinker of what she can do, and allow her to be responsible for her mental agency. Such a view, however, ignores the dynamics of the mind–world interactions that calibrate the epistemic sentiments as reliable indicators of epistemic norms. A 'brain in the lab' thought experiment suggests that (...)
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  • The Nature of Epistemic Feelings.Santiago Arango-Muñoz - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (2):1-19.
    Among the phenomena that make up the mind, cognitive psychologists and philosophers have postulated a puzzling one that they have called ?epistemic feelings.? This paper aims to (1) characterize these experiences according to their intentional content and phenomenal character, and (2) describe the nature of these mental states as nonconceptual in the cases of animals and infants, and as conceptual mental states in the case of adult human beings. Finally, (3) the paper will contrast three accounts of the causes and (...)
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  • What is ‘Mental Action’?Yair Levy - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):971-993.
    There has been a resurgence of interest lately within philosophy of mind and action in the category of mental action. Against this background, the present paper aims to question the very possibility, or at least the theoretical significance, of teasing apart mental and bodily acts. After raising some doubts over the viability of various possible ways of drawing the mental act/bodily act distinction, the paper draws some lessons from debates over embodied cognition, which arguably further undermine the credibility of the (...)
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  • Cognitive Phenomenology, Access to Contents, and Inner Speech.Marta Jorba & Agustin Vicente - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (9-10):74-99.
    In this paper we introduce two issues relevantly related to the cognitive phenomenology debate, which, to our minds, have not been yet properly addressed: the relation between access and phenomenal consciousness in cognition and the relation between conscious thought and inner speech. In the first case, we ask for an explanation of how we have access to thought contents, and in the second case, an explanation of why is inner speech so pervasive in our conscious thinking. We discuss the prospects (...)
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  • Action-Awareness and the Active Mind.Peter Carruthers - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (2):133-156.
    In a pair of recent papers and his new book, Christopher Peacocke (2007, 2008a, 2008b) takes up and defends the claim that our awareness of our own actions is immediate and not perceptually based, and extends it into the domain of mental action.1 He aims to provide an account of action-awareness that will generalize to explain how we have immediate awareness of our own judgments, decisions, imaginings, and so forth. These claims form an important component in a much larger philosophical (...)
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  • Meditation and the Scope of Mental Action.Michael Brent & Candace Upton - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):52-71.
    While philosophers of mind have devoted abundant time and attention to questions of content and consciousness, philosophical questions about the nature and scope of mental action have been relatively neglected. Galen Strawson’s account of mental action, arguably the most well-known extant account, holds that cognitive mental action consists in triggering the delivery of content to one’s field of consciousness. However, Strawson fails to recognize several distinct types of mental action that might not reduce to triggering content delivery. In this paper, (...)
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  • The Nature of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):744-754.
    This is the first in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while the second article explores the (...)
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  • Remembering as a Mental Action.Santiago Arango-Munoz & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. Routledge. pp. 75-96.
    Many philosophers consider that memory is just a passive information retention and retrieval capacity. Some information and experiences are encoded, stored, and subsequently retrieved in a passive way, without any control or intervention on the subject’s part. In this paper, we will defend an active account of memory according to which remembering is a mental action and not merely a passive mental event. According to the reconstructive account, memory is an imaginative reconstruction of past experience. A key feature of the (...)
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  • Out of Nowhere: Thought Insertion, Ownership and Context-Integration.Jean-Remy Martin & Pacherie Elisabeth - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):111-122.
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  • Direct Realism and Perceptual Consciousness.Susanna Siegel - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):378-410.
    In The Problem of Perception, A.D. Smith’s central aim is to defend the view that we can directly perceive ordinary objects, such as cups, keys and the like.1 The book is organized around the two arguments that Smith considers to be serious threats to the possibility of direct perception: the argument from illusion, and the argument from hallucination. The argument from illusion threatens this possibility because it concludes that indirect realism is true. Indirect realism is the view that we perceive (...)
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  • Intentional Action and the Post-Coma Patient.Zoe Drayson - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):23-31.
    Detecting conscious awareness in a patient emerging from a coma state is problematic, because our standard attributions of conscious awareness rely on interpreting bodily movement as intentional action. Where there is an absence of intentional bodily action, as in the vegetative state, can we reliably assume that there is an absence of conscious awareness? Recent neuroimaging work suggests that we can attribute conscious awareness to some patients in a vegetative state by interpreting their brain activity as intentional mental action. I (...)
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  • Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
    This article discusses the arguments against associating epistemic responsibility with the ordinary notion of agency. I examine the various 'Kantian' views which lead to a distinctive conception of epistemic agency and epistemic responsibility. I try to explain why we can be held responsible for our beliefs in the sense of obeying norms which regulate them without being epistemic agents.
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  • Thought Insertion: Abnormal Sense of Thought Agency or Thought Endorsement?Paulo Sousa & Lauren Swiney - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):637-654.
    The standard approach to the core phenomenology of thought insertion characterizes it in terms of a normal sense of thought ownership coupled with an abnormal sense of thought agency. Recently, Fernández (2010) has argued that there are crucial problems with this approach and has proposed instead that what goes wrong fundamentally in such a phenomenology is a sense of thought commitment, characterized in terms of thought endorsement. In this paper, we argue that even though Fernández raises new issues that enrich (...)
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  • Joëlle Proust: The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, Xii + 366, $74.00, ISBN: 978-0-19-960216-2. [REVIEW]Santiago Arango-Muñoz - 2015 - Minds and Machines 25 (3):297-300.
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  • The Comparator Account on Thought Insertion, Alien Voices and Inner Speech: Some Open Questions.Agustin Vicente - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2):335-353.
    Recently, many philosophers and psychologists have claimed that the explanation that grounds both passivity phenomena in the cognitive domain and passivity phenomena that occur with respect to overt actions is, along broad lines, the same. Furthermore, they claim that the best account we have of such phenomena in both scenarios is the “comparator” account. However, there are reasons to doubt whether the comparator model can be exported from the realm of overt actions to the cognitive domain in general. There is (...)
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  • Out of Nowhere: Thought Insertion, Ownership and Context-Integration.Jean-Remy Martin & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):111-122.
    We argue that thought insertion primarily involves a disruption of the sense of ownership for thoughts and that the lack of a sense of agency is but a consequence of this disruption. We defend the hypothesis that this disruption of the sense of ownership stems from a fail- ure in the online integration of the contextual information related to a thought, in partic- ular contextual information concerning the different causal factors that may be implicated in their production. Loss of unity (...)
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  • Inner Speech: Nature and Functions.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martinez Manrique - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (3):209-219.
    We very often discover ourselves engaged in inner speech. It seems that this kind of silent, private, speech fulfils some role in our cognition, most probably related to conscious thinking. Yet, the study of inner speech has been neglected by philosophy and psychology alike for many years. However, things seem to have changed in the last two decades. Here we review some of the most influential accounts about the phenomenology and the functions of inner speech, as well as the methodological (...)
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  • Two Levels of Metacognition.Santiago Arango-Muñoz - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):71-82.
    Two main theories about metacognition are reviewed, each of which claims to provide a better explanation of this phenomenon, while discrediting the other theory as inappropriate. The paper claims that in order to do justice to the complex phenomenon of metacognition, we must distinguish two levels of this capacity—each having a different structure, a different content and a different function within the cognitive architecture. It will be shown that each of the reviewed theories has been trying to explain only one (...)
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  • Conscious Action/Zombie Action.Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):419-444.
    I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying . I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, conscious visual experience plays a causal role for action control in some circumstances. Second, I propose a multimodal account of the experience (...)
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  • Review of The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education Part V “Critical Thinking and the Cognitive Sciences”. [REVIEW]David Wright - 2015 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 30 (2):54-62.
    This review essay discusses three articles from the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education concerned with outlining the connection between cognitive science and critical thinking. All of the authors explain how recent findings in cognitive science, such as research on heuristics and cognitive biases might be incorporated into the critical thinking curriculum. The authors also elaborate on how recent findings in metacognition can reshape critical thinking pedagogy. For instance, the essays articulate how critical thinking instructors would be wise (...)
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  • Control Consciousness.Pete Mandik - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4):643-657.
    Control consciousness is the awareness or experience of seeming to be in control of one’s actions. One view, which I will be arguing against in the present paper, is that control consciousness is a form of sensory consciousness. In such a view, control consciousness is exhausted by sensory elements such as tactile and proprioceptive information. An opposing view, which I will be arguing for, is that sensory elements cannot be the whole story and must be supplemented by direct contributions of (...)
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  • We Are Not All 'Self‐Blind': A Defense of a Modest Introspectionism.R. E. Y. Georges - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):259-285.
    Shoemaker (1996) presented a priori arguments against the possibility of ‘self-blindness’, or the inability of someone, otherwise intelligent and possessed of mental concepts, to introspect any of her concurrent attitude states. Ironically enough, this seems to be a position that Gopnik (1993) and Carruthers (2006, 2008, 2009a,b) have proposed as not only possible, but as the actual human condition generally! According to this ‘Objectivist’ view, supposed introspection of one's attitudes is not ‘direct’, but an ‘inference’ of precisely the sort we (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on Introspection and Introspectionism.Donald E. Waterfall - 2015 - Sophia 54 (3):243-264.
    This paper reviews and defends Wittgenstein’s examination of the notion of introspecting psychological states and his critique of introspectionism, in the sense of using reflective awareness as a tool for philosophical or psychological investigation. Its focus is on inner psychological states, like pains or thoughts—it provisionally excludes perceptual states from this category. It approaches the philosopher’s concept of introspection through an analysis of concepts of awareness and self-awareness. It identifies at least two different forms of self-awareness, just one of which (...)
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  • A Gate‐Based Account of Intentions.Stéphane Lemaire - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):45-67.
    In this paper, I propose a reductive account of intentions which I call a gate-based reductive account. In contrast with other reductive accounts, however, the reductive basis of this account is not limited to desires, beliefs and judgments. I suggest that an intention is a complex state in which a predominant desire toward a plan is not inhibited by a gate mechanism whose function is to assess the comparison of our desires given the stakes at hand. To vindicate this account, (...)
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  • Non‐Observational Knowledge of Action.John Schwenkler - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (10):731-740.
    Intuitively, the knowledge of one’s own intentional actions is different from the knowledge of actions of other sorts, including those of other people and unintentional actions of one's own. But how are we to understand this phenomenon? Does it pertain to all actions, under every description under which they are known? If so, then how is this possible? If not, then how should we think about cases that are exceptions to this principle? This paper is a critical survey of recent (...)
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  • Précis of The Philosophy of Metacognition.Joëlle Proust - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):703-709.
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  • What We Do When We Judge.Josefa Toribio - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):345-367.
    In this paper I argue on two fronts. First, I press for the view that judging is a type of mental action, as opposed to those who think that judging is involuntary and hence not an action. Second, I argue that judging is specifically a type of non-voluntary mental action. My account of the non-voluntary nature of the mental act of judging differs, however, from standard non-voluntarist views, according to which ‘non-voluntary’ just means regulated by epistemic reasons. In addition, judging (...)
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  • Is Epistemic Agency Possible?Pascal Engel - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):158-178.
    There are mental actions, and a number of epistemic attitudes involve activity. But can there be epistemic agency? I argue that there is a limit to any claim that we can be epistemic agents, which is that the structure of reasons for epistemic attitudes differs fundamentally from the structure of reasons for actions. The main differences are that we cannot act for the wrong reasons although we can believe for the wrong reasons, and that reasons for beliefs are exclusive in (...)
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  • Transparency and Introspective Unification.Kateryna Samoilova - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    Gareth Evans has observed that one merely needs to ‘look outward’ to discover one’s own beliefs. This observation of what has become known as belief ‘transparency’ has formed a basis for a cluster of views on the nature of introspection. These views may be well suited to account for our introspective access to beliefs, but whether similar transparency-based accounts of our introspective access to mental states other than belief can be given is not obvious. The question of whether a transparency-based (...)
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  • Commentary on Martin & Pacherie. Out of Nowhere: Thought Insertion, Ownership and Context-Integration.Max Seeger - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):261-263.
    In their article “Out of nowhere: thought insertion, ownership and context-integration”, Jean-Remy Martin & Elisabeth Pacherie criticize the standard approach to thought insertion. However, their criticism is based on a misunderstanding of what the standard approach actually claims. By clarifying the notions ‘sense of ownership’ and ‘sense of agency’, I show that Martin & Pacherie’s own approach can be construed as a refined version of the standard approach.
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  • Authorship of Thoughts in Thought Insertion: What is It for a Thought to Be One's Own?Max Seeger - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (6):837-855.
    In thought insertion, subjects experience thoughts which they claim not to be their own. What they claim, it is typically said, is that the thought is not theirs in the sense that they are not the agent or author of the thought. But what does it mean to be the agent or author of a thought? The most intuitive idea is that for a thought to be one's own means for the thought to causally originate within the subject. I defend (...)
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  • Action Unified.Yair Levy - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv056.
    Mental acts are conspicuously absent from philosophical debates over the nature of action. A typical protagonist of a typical scenario is far more likely to raise her arm or open the window than she is to perform a calculation in her head or talk to herself silently. One possible explanation for this omission is that the standard ‘causalist’ account of action, on which acts are analyzed in terms of mental states causing bodily movements, faces difficulties in accommodating some paradigmatic cases (...)
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  • Mental Actions and Mental Agency.Anika Fiebich & John Michael - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):683-693.
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  • We Are Not All ‘Self‐Blind’: A Defense of a Modest Introspectionism.Georges Rey - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):259-285.
    Shoemaker presented a priori arguments against the possibility of ‘self‐blindness’, or the inability of someone, otherwise intelligent and possessed of mental concepts, to introspect any of her concurrent attitude states. Ironically enough, this seems to be a position that Gopnik and Carruthers have proposed as not only possible, but as the actual human condition generally! According to this ‘Objectivist’ view, supposed introspection of one's attitudes is not ‘direct’, but an ‘inference’ of precisely the sort we make about the attitudes of (...)
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  • Metacognition.Joëlle Proust - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):989-998.
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  • Judging, Believing and Thinking.Quassim Cassam - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):80-95.
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