Introspection distinct from first-order experiences

Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):11--7 (2004)
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As is the case with other concepts about mental affairs, the concept of introspection has many different interpretations. Some seem to consider introspecting a perceptive act and others see it as a thinking activity . For the present purpose, we will claim it as a common understanding in all such theories that introspection presupposes consciousness . States of consciousness, broadly discussed in the philosophical and empirical literature as first order states of consciousness, are states in which a subject is aware of some or other object, thought, or feeling. Introspective states, however, are states in which a subject directs his or her attention towards their own conscious state. According to this understanding which we claim is a widespread one introspection can exist only in conscious subjects, and, furthermore, it is by way of introspection that a subject can learn about having this or that experience. To avoid misunderstandings, we wish to underline that the claim is not that experiencing as such is dependent upon such acts of introspection. On the contrary, we believe that a subject can have all kinds of intero- and exteroceptive experiences, directing attention towards the represented object . It is only when the subject directs attention not towards the object as such but towards the very state of being conscious of the object that he or she is introspective



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Morten Overgaard
Aalborg University

Citations of this work

The validity of first-person descriptions as authenticity and coherence.Claire Petitmengin - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (10-12):10-12.
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Introspection as a Method and Introspection as a Feature of Consciousness.Uljana Feest - 2012 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):1 - 16.
On the naturalizing of phenomenology.Morten Overgaard - 2004 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (4):365-79.

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