Calibrating Introspection

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The epistemic credentials of introspection are often overestimated by philosophers and psychologists in their theorizing. This point has been argued in recent literature; yet a sceptical position on introspection which recommends its wholesale rejection as a source of knowledge is not credible. We can and do know things about our own minds by introspection. A sensible view on introspection is therefore moderate in its scepticism. It is surprisingly hard, however, to make a principled case for such a position. In this paper, I put forward and defend a moderate scepticism about introspection. I show how this position yields the resources to pin down the scope and content of introspective knowledge. A major attraction of the view is that it provides a strategy for solving a problem which has vexed the scientific study of consciousness from its inception.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-321
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Issues
Issue number1
Early online date12 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Introspection