A Metacognitive Account of Phenomenal Force

Mind and Language (forthcoming)
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Abstract

According to phenomenal conservatism or dogmatism, perceptual experiences can give us immediate justification for beliefs about the external world in virtue of having a distinctive kind of phenomenal character—namely phenomenal force. I present three cases to show that phenomenal force is neither pervasive among nor exclusive to perceptual experiences. The plausibility of such cases calls out for explanation. I argue that contrary to a long-held assumption, phenomenal force is a separate, non-perceptual state generated by some metacognitive mechanisms that monitor one’s first-order mental processes and states. This new account advances our understanding of the nature of phenomenal force.

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Lu Teng
New York University, Shanghai

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