Certainty and our sense of acquaintance with experiences

Erkenntnis (forthcoming)
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Why do we tend to think that phenomenal consciousness poses a hard problem? The answer seems to lie in part in the fact that we have the impression that phenomenal experiences are presented to us in a particularly immediate and revelatory way: we have a sense of acquaintance with our experiences. Recent views have offered resources to explain such persisting impression, by hypothesizing that the very design of our cognitive systems inevitably leads us to hold beliefs about our own experiences with certainty. I argue against this kind of “designed certainty” views. First, I claim that it is doubtful that we really hold beliefs about our own experiences with certainty – in any sense of certainty that would make our phenomenal beliefs special. Second, I claim that, even if it were the case that we hold beliefs about experiences with certainty, this would fall short of explaining our sense of acquaintance.

Author's Profile

François Kammerer
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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