The paradox of phenomenal judgement and the case against illusionism

Maung, Hane (2024) The paradox of phenomenal judgement and the case against illusionism. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences, 16 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2035-0031

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Abstract

Illusionism is the view that conscious experience is some sort of introspective illusion. According to illusionism, there is no conscious experience, but it merely seems like there is conscious experience. This would suggest that much phenomenological enquiry, including work on phenomenological psychopathology, rests on a mistake. Some philosophers have argued that illusionism is obviously false, because seeming is itself an experiential state, and so necessarily presupposes the reality of conscious experience. In response, the illusionist could suggest that the relevant sort of seeming here is not an experiential state, but is a cognitive state, such as a judgement or a belief, which is fully amenable to a physical or functionalist analysis. Herein, I argue that this response is unsuccessful and fails to undermine the reality of conscious experience. Nonetheless, the response does raise the problem of how a judgement or belief about the character of a conscious experience, even if it is true, can be justified if the conscious experience has no causal role in the formation of the judgement or belief. This is not a new problem, but is a reiteration of an old problem that is known in the philosophy of mind literature as the paradox of phenomenal judgement. I consider how the paradox of phenomenal judgement can be resolved and how the judgement or belief about conscious experience can be justified with appeal to the notion of acquaintance.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? no - not funded ??
ID Code:
221036
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 Jun 2024 15:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
05 Jun 2024 00:59