Introspection as a Game of Make‐Believe

Theoria 80 (4):350-367 (2014)
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The aim of this article is to provide an account of introspective knowledge concerning visual experiences that is in accordance with the idea of transparent introspection. According to transparent introspection, a person gains knowledge of her own current mental state M solely by paying attention to those aspects of the external world which M is about. In my view, transparent introspection is a promising alternative to inner sense theories. However, it raises the fundamental question why a person who pays attention to something extra-mental should be epistemically justified in holding a belief about something intra-mental. In his Naturalizing the Mind, Fred Dretske solves this problem by conceiving of introspection concerning visual experiences as an inference based on a connecting belief. Although Dretske's account proves defective upon closer inspection, its essence can be salvaged by looking upon introspection as being a game of make-believe

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Wolfgang Barz
Goethe University Frankfurt


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