Armstrong's Just-so Story about Consciousness

In Peter Anstey & David Braddon-Mitchell (eds.), A Materialist Theory of the Mind: 50 Years On (forthcoming)
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Abstract: In chapter 15 of A Materialist Theory of the Mind, D.M.Armstrong offers an account of what he calls “the biological value of introspection”, namely, that “without information…about the current state of our minds, purposive trains mental activity would be impossible.” This paper examines and assesses Armstrong’s “Just-so story about introspective consciousness”—as W.G.Lycan later called it. One moral will be that appreciating this aspect of Armstrong’s view blurs the difference between his own perceptual model of introspection, and the anti-perceptual models advanced by such critics as Sydney Shoemaker

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Daniel Stoljar
Australian National University


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