Rethinking Introspection: A Pluralist Approach to the First-Person Perspective

Overview

We seem to have private privileged access to our own minds through introspection, but what exactly does this involve? Do we somehow literally perceive our own minds, as the common idea of a 'mind's eye' suggests, or are there other processes at work in our ability to know our own minds? Rethinking Introspection offers a new pluralist framework for understanding the nature, scope, and limits of introspection. The book argues that, contrary to common misconceptions, introspection does not consist of a single ...

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Rethinking Introspection: A Pluralist Approach to the First-Person Perspective

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Overview

We seem to have private privileged access to our own minds through introspection, but what exactly does this involve? Do we somehow literally perceive our own minds, as the common idea of a 'mind's eye' suggests, or are there other processes at work in our ability to know our own minds? Rethinking Introspection offers a new pluralist framework for understanding the nature, scope, and limits of introspection. The book argues that, contrary to common misconceptions, introspection does not consist of a single mechanism but rather a diverse range of mental states and cognitive processes with a broad spectrum of epistemic properties. Building upon this revised conception of introspection, the book illustrates and analyzes the variety of ways in which we introspectively grasp the contents of our own minds, from the immediate phenomenal knowledge generated by conscious experience to the self-deceptive possibilities enabled by certain kinds of inner speech.

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Meet the Author

Jesse Butler is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Arkansas, USA. He works and teaches in the areas of philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of language, with emphasis on understanding the nature and limits of self-knowledge. His work has appeared most recently in the Jourbanal of Consciousness Studies.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1. Introduction
2. Introspection as Inner Perception
3. Poking Out the Inner Eye
4. Introspection as a Metaphor
5. Knowing Our Own Consciousness
6. Introspection through Cognition
7. Understanding Our Own Beliefs and Desires
8. The Internal Monologue
9. On The Social Side of Self-Knowledge
10. Conclusion: Is That All There Is?
Notes
References
Index

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