Phenomenal transparency and cognitive self-reference

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (4):353-393 (2003)
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Abstract

A representationalist analysis of strong first-person phenomena is developed (Baker 1998), and it is argued that conscious, cognitive self-reference can be naturalized under this representationalist analysis. According to this view, the phenomenal first-person perspective is a condition of possibility for the emergence of a cognitive first-person perspective. Cognitive self-reference always is reference to the phenomenal content of a transparent self-model. The concepts of phenomenal transparency and introspection are clarified. More generally, I suggest that the concepts of phenomenal opacity and phenomenal transparency are interesting instruments for analyzing conscious, self-representational content, and that their relevance in understanding reflexive, i.e., cognitive subjectivity may have been overlooked in the past

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Thomas Metzinger
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz