The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge
It is widely believed that people have privileged and authoritative access to their own thoughts, and many theories have been proposed to explain this supposed fact. The Opacity of Mind challenges the consensus view and subjects the theories in question to critical scrutiny, while showing that they are not protected against the findings of cognitive science by belonging to a separate 'explanatory space'. The book argues that our access to our own thoughts is almost always interpretive, grounded in perceptual awareness of our own circumstances and behavior, together with our own sensory imagery (including inner speech). In fact our access to our own thoughts is no different in principle from our access to the thoughts of other people, utilizing the conceptual and inferential resources of the same 'mindreading' faculty, and relying on many of the same sources of evidence. Peter Carruthers proposes and defends the Interpretive Sensory-Access (ISA) theory of self-knowledge. This is supported through comprehensive examination of many different types of evidence from across cognitive science, integrating a diverse set of findings into a single well-articulated theory. One outcome is that there are hardly any kinds of conscious thought. Another is that there is no such thing as conscious agency. Written with Carruthers' usual clarity and directness, this book will be essential reading for philosophers interested in self-knowledge, consciousness, and related areas of philosophy. It will also be of vital interest to cognitive scientists, since it casts the existing data in a new theoretical light. Moreover, the ISA theory makes many new predictions while also suggesting constraints and controls that should be placed on future experimental investigations of self-knowledge.
2 The Mental Transparency Assumption
Foundations and Elaborations
4 Transparent Sensory Access to Attitudes?
5 Transparent Sensory Access to Affect
6 IntermediateStrength TransparentAccess Theories
7 Inner Sense Theories
8 Mindreading in Mind
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action activity addition affective agent argue argument asked attitudes attribute awareness behavior belief brain capacities cause changes Chapter choice claim cognitive commitment conceptual Conclusion condition conscious consider consistent contrast course decisions desire direct discussed distinct emotions et al evidence example existence expect experience experimental explain expressed fact false feelings finding forms given globally broadcast goal human idea important infants initial inner sense intentions interpretive introspection involved ISA theory issue judgments kinds knowledge latter learning least means mechanisms memory mental mind mindreading faculty mindreading system monitoring Moreover normal Note object one’s oneself operations perceptual person positive possible predict present Press processes propositional question reasoning reliable representations requires role rule seems self-knowledge sensory significant sort speech subjects suggests supposed tasks theorists thought transparent access visual