Robert Alan and Kathryn Dunlevie Hayes Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Rice University

On the Phenomenology of Introspection

In Introspection and Consciousness, edited by Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar, Oxford University Press, 2012.

 From the Introduction:

What is the special way in which we each know our own minds? “Introspection,” we say.
But this word may seem too theoretically loaded—suggesting a faculty of “inner sense”
whereby we turn attention away from the “external world” to perceive what’s inside. And
that picture of how we get self-knowledge cannot be taken for granted. However, while
the term ‘introspection’ seems practically inevitable, we can elect to use it––as I will––
without committing ourselves to the existence of an “inner sense.” I will in fact reject
inner sense views. But I also want to do justice to what I think makes them attractive.
This means explaining how consciousness and attention to experience make firstperson
“introspective” knowledge possible.

© 2020 Charles Siewert. All Rights Reserved.