What Is the Role of Consciousness in Demonstrative Thought?

Journal of Philosophy 108 (1):5-34 (2011)
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Abstract
Perception enables us to think demonstrative thoughts about the world around us, but what must perception be like in order to play this role? Does perception enable demonstrative thought only if it is conscious? This paper examines three accounts of the role of consciousness in demonstrative thought, which agree that consciousness is essential for demonstrative thought, but disagree about why it is. First, I consider and reject the accounts proposed by Gareth Evans in The Varieties of Reference and by John Campbell in Reference and Consciousness before offering an alternative proposal of my own. My proposal is that consciousness plays an essential epistemic role in explaining the capacity for demonstrative thought about an object by enabling the subject to form immediately justified beliefs about the object
ISBN(s)
0022-362X
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SMIWIT-6
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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2010-10-29

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