The Super Justification Argument for Phenomenal Transparency

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):437-455 (2022)
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ABSTRACT In Consciousness and Fundamental Reality, Philip Goff argues that the case against physicalist views of consciousness turns on ‘Phenomenal Transparency’, roughly the thesis that phenomenal concepts reveal the essential nature of phenomenal properties. This paper considers the argument that Goff offers for Phenomenal Transparency. The key premise is that our introspective judgments about current conscious experience are ‘Super Justified’, in that these judgments enjoy an epistemic status comparable to that of simple mathematical judgments, and a better epistemic status than run of the mill perceptual judgments. After presenting the key ideas in the ‘Super Justification Argument’, I distinguish two Super Justification theses, which vary according to the kind of introspective judgments that they take to be Super Justified. I argue that Goff’s case requires ‘Strong Super Justification’, according to which a wide range of introspective judgments about conscious experience are Super Justified. Unfortunately, it turns out that Strong Super Justification is implausible and not well-supported by examples. In contrast, a weaker Super Justification thesis does not require anything like Phenomenal Transparency and, indeed, can be explained by physicalistic accounts of phenomenal concepts.



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Kevin Morris
Tulane University

Citations of this work

Grounding Physicalism and "Moorean" Connections.Alex Moran - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.

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References found in this work

The Two-Dimensional Argument Against Materialism.David Chalmers - 2009 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism.Derk Pereboom - 2011 - , US: Oxford University Press.
Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness.Keith Frankish - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):11-39.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.

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