Introspection: divided and partly eliminated

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Philosophy
Topics: 
Self and Mental State Attribution
Keywords: 
consciousness, confabulation, decision, introspection, judgment, self-interpretation,
Deposited by: 
Dr Peter Carruthers
Date of Issue: 
2007
Authors: 
Peter Carruthers
Journal/Publication Title: 
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume: 
forthcoming
Abstract: 
This paper will argue that there is no such thing as introspective access to judgments and decisions. It won’t challenge the existence of introspective access to perceptual and imagistic states, nor to emotional feelings and bodily sensations. On the contrary, the model presented in Section 2 presumes such access. Hence introspection is here divided into two categories: introspection of propositional attitude events, on the one hand, and introspection of broadly perceptual events, on the other. I shall assume that the latter exists while arguing that the former doesn’t (or not in the case of judgments and decisions, at least). Section 1 makes some preliminary points and distinctions, and outlines the scope of the argument. Section 2 presents and motivates the general model of introspection that predicts a divided result. Section 3 provides independent evidence for the conclusion that judgments and decisions aren’t introspectable. Section 4 then replies to a number of objections to the argument, the most important of which is made from the perspective of so-called “dual systems theories” of belief formation and decision making. The upshot is a limited form of eliminativism about introspection, in respect of at least two core categories of propositional attitude.
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