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  1. The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):467-493.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  • Experience and Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Seeing for Representationalism.James Openshaw & Assaf Weksler - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    When characterizing the content of a subject’s perceptual experience, does their seeing an object entail that their visual experience represents it as being a certain way? If it does, are they thereby in a position to have perceptually-based thoughts about it? On one hand, representationalists are under pressure to answer these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, it seems they cannot. This paper presents a puzzle to illustrate this tension within orthodox representationalism. We identify several interesting morals which (...)
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  • Predication and the Frege–Geach Problem.Indrek Reiland - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):141-159.
    Several philosophers have recently appealed to predication in developing their theories of cognitive representation and propositions. One central point of difference between them is whether they take predication to be forceful or neutral and whether they take the most basic cognitive representational act to be judging or entertaining. Both views are supported by powerful reasons and both face problems. Many think that predication must be forceful if it is to explain representation. However, the standard ways of implementing the idea give (...)
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  • The Phenomenology of Attitudes and the Salience of Rational Role and Determination.Fabian Dorsch - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (2):114-137.
    The recent debate on cognitive phenomenology has largely focused on phenomenal aspects connected to the content of thoughts. By contrasts, aspects pertaining to their attitude have often been neglected, despite the fact that they are distinctive of the mental kind of thought concerned and, moreover, also present in experiences and thus less contentious than purely cognitive aspects. My main goal is to identify two central and closely related aspects of attitude that are phenomenologically salient and shared by thoughts with experiences, (...)
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  • The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    When should you engage with difficult arguments against your cherished controversial beliefs? The primary conclusion of this book is that your obligations to engage with counterarguments are more limited than is often thought. In some standard situations, you shouldn't engage with difficult counterarguments and, if you do, you shouldn't engage with them open-mindedly. This conclusion runs counter to aspects of the Millian political tradition and political liberalism, as well as what people working in informal logic tend to say about argumentation. (...)
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  • Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...)
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  • Visual Prominence and Representationalism.Todd Ganson & Ben Bronner - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):405-418.
    A common objection to representationalism is that a representationalist view of phenomenal character cannot accommodate the effects that shifts in covert attention have on visual phenomenology: covert attention can make items more visually prominent than they would otherwise be without altering the content of visual experience. Recent empirical work on attention casts doubt on previous attempts to advance this type of objection to representationalism and it also points the way to an alternative development of the objection.
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  • Attention is Rational-Access Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 247--273.
    This chapter argues that attention is a distinctive mode of consciousness, which plays an essential functional role in making information accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action. The main line of argument can be stated quite simply. Attention is what makes information fully accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action. But what makes information fully accessible for use in the rational control of thought and action is a distinctive mode of consciousness. Therefore, (...)
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  • A Simple Theory of Introspection.Declan Smithies - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a simple theory of introspection on which a mental state is introspectively accessible just by virtue of the fact that one is in that mental state. This theory raises two questions: first, a generalization question: which mental states are introspectively accessible; and second, an explanatory question: why are some mental states introspectively accessible, rather than others, or none at all? In response to the generalization question, I argue that a mental state is introspectively accessible if and only (...)
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  • The Evil Demon Inside.Nicholas Silins - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper examines how new evil demon problems could arise for our access to the internal world of our own minds. I start by arguing that the internalist/externalist debate in epistemology has been widely misconstrued---we need to reconfigure the debate in order to see how it can arise about our access to the internal world. I then argue for the coherence of scenarios of radical deception about our own minds, and I use them to defend a properly formulated internalist view (...)
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  • What is Conscious Attention?Wayne Wu - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):93-120.
    Perceptual attention is essential to both thought and agency, for there is arguably no demonstrative thought or bodily action without it. Psychologists and philosophers since William James have taken attention to be a ubiquitous and distinctive form of consciousness, one that leaves a characteristic mark on perceptual experience. As a process of selecting specific perceptual inputs, attention influences the way things perceptually appear. It may then seem that it is a specific feature of perceptual representation that constitutes what it is (...)
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  • The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  • How to Tell Essence.Ivan V. Ivanov - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):147-168.
    How could perceptual experiences reveal matters of essentiality? Answering this question is crucial for vindicating a thesis about the epistemic import of experience, commonly known as Revelation. The thesis comes in a weak and a strong version. Only on the strong one could it make up an authoritative piece of common sense. But this version also seems to demand too much of our experiences, namely that they can reveal essentiality. However, the impression that our experiences are not suited for this (...)
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  • Three Kinds of Reliabilism.Frank Hofmann - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):59 - 80.
    I distinguish between three kinds of reliabilism for epistemic justification, namely, pure reliabilism, evidential reliabilism, and reasons reliabilism, and I argue for reasons reliabilism. Pure reliabilism and evidential reliabilism are plagued, most importantly, by the generality problem, and they cannot deal adequately with defeater phenomena. One can avoid these problems only by jettisoning the idea of process reliability. The truth connection ? which is essential for any kind of reliabilism ? has to be provided in an altogether different way, namely, (...)
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  • The Mental Lives of Zombies.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):343-372.
    Could there be a cognitive zombie – that is, a creature with the capacity for cognition, but no capacity for consciousness? Searle argues that there cannot be a cognitive zombie because there cannot be an intentional zombie: on this view, there is a connection between consciousness and cognition that is derived from a more fundamental connection between consciousness and intentionality. However, I argue that there are good empirical reasons for rejecting the proposed connection between consciousness and intentionality. Instead, I argue (...)
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  • Perceptual Objectivity and Consciousness: A Relational Response to Burge’s Challenge.Naomi Eilan - 2015 - Topoi:1-12.
    My question is: does phenomenal consciousness have a critical role in explaining the way conscious perceptions achieve objective import? I approach it through developing a dilemma I label ‘Burge’s Challenge’, which is implicit in his approach to perceptual objectivity. It says, crudely: either endorse the general structure of his account of how objective perceptual import is achieved, and give up on a role for consciousness. Or, relinquish Caused Representation, and possibly defend a role for consciousness. Someone I call Burge* holds (...)
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  • Referring to the Qualitative Dimension of Consciousness: Iconicity Instead of Indexicality.Marc Champagne - 2014 - Dialogue 53 (1):135-182.
    This paper suggests that reference to phenomenal qualities is best understood as involving iconicity, that is, a passage from sign-vehicle to object that exploits a similarity between the two. This contrasts with a version of the ‘phenomenal concept strategy’ that takes indexicality to be central. However, since it is doubtful that phenomenal qualities are capable of causally interacting with anything, indexical reference seems inappropriate. While a theorist like David Papineau is independently coming to something akin to iconicity, I think some (...)
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  • Gettier For Justification.Frank Hofmann - 2014 - Episteme 11 (3):305-318.
    I will present a problem for any externalist evidentialism that allows for accidental possession of evidence. There are Gettier cases for justification. I will describe two such cases – cases involving veridical hallucination. An analysis of the cases is given, along the lines of virtue epistemology . The cases show that certain externalist evidentialist accounts of justification do not provide sufficient conditions. The reason lies in the fact that one can be luckily in possession of evidence, and then one will (...)
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  • Attention as Structuring of the Stream of Consciousness.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 145.
    This paper defends and develops the structuring account of conscious attention: attention is the conscious mental process of structuring one’s stream of consciousness so that some parts of it are more central than others. In the first part of the paper, I motivate the structuring account. Drawing on a variety of resources I argue that the phenomenology of attention cannot be fully captured in terms of how the world appears to the subject, as well as against an atomistic conception of (...)
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  • The Philosophical Significance of Attention.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (10):722-733.
    What is the philosophical significance of attention? The present article provides an overview of recent debates surrounding the connections between attention and other topics of philosophical interest. In particular, it discusses the interplay between attention and consciousness, attention and agency, and attention and reference. The article outlines the questions and contemporary positions concerning how attention shapes the phenomenal character of experience, whether it is necessary or sufficient for consciousness, and whether it plays a special role in the best philosophical theories (...)
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  • Please Mind the Gappy Content.Johan Gersel - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):219-239.
    Representationalist theories of experience face the problem that two sets of compelling intuitions seem to support the contrary conclusions that we should ascribe, respectively, singular contents and general contents to experience. Susanna Schellenberg has, in a series of articles, argued that we can conserve both sets of intuitions if we award a central explanatory role to the notions of gappy-contents and content-schemas in our theory of experience. I argue that there is difficulty in seeing how gappy-contents and content-schemas can fulfil (...)
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  • The Significance of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):731-743.
    This is the second 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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  • Unconscious Perceptual Justification.Jacob Berger, Bence Nanay & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):569-589.
    Perceptual experiences justify beliefs. A perceptual experience of a dog justifies the belief that there is a dog present. But there is much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, as in experiments involving masked priming. Do unconscious perceptual states provide justification as well? The answer depends on one’s theory of justification. While most varieties of externalism seem compatible with unconscious perceptual justification, several theories have recently afforded to consciousness a special role in perceptual justification. We argue that (...)
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  • What is It Like to Think About Oneself? De Se Thought and Phenomenal Intentionality.Kyle Banick - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-14.
    The topic of the paper is at the intersection of recent debates on de se thought and phenomenal intentionality. An interesting problem for phenomenal intentionality is the question of how to account for the intentional properties of de se thought-contents---i.e., thoughts about oneself as oneself. Here, I aim to describe and consider the significance of a phenomenological perspective on self-consciousness in its application to de se thought. I argue that having de se thoughts can be explained in terms of the (...)
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  • Perceptual Objectivity and Consciousness: A Relational Response to Burge’s Challenge.Naomi Eilan - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):287-298.
    My question is: does phenomenal consciousness have a critical role in explaining the way conscious perceptions achieve objective import? I approach it through developing a dilemma I label ‘Burge’s Challenge’, which is implicit in his approach to perceptual objectivity. It says, crudely: either endorse the general structure of his account of how objective perceptual import is achieved, and give up on a role for consciousness. Or, relinquish Caused Representation, and possibly defend a role for consciousness. Someone I call Burge* holds (...)
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  • On the Explanatory Power of Hallucination.Dominic Alford-Duguid & Michael Arsenault - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Pautz has argued that the most prominent naive realist account of hallucination—negative epistemic disjunctivism—cannot explain how hallucinations enable us to form beliefs about perceptually presented properties. He takes this as grounds to reject both negative epistemic disjunctivism and naive realism. Our aims are two: First, to show that this objection is dialectically ineffective against naive realism, and second, to draw morals from the failure of this objection for the dispute over the nature of perceptual experience at large.
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