Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Introspection: introspection is the investigation of a self-conscious subject of its own inner states. Prerequisites are, among other things, the ability to distinguish interior from external influences, as well as at least to some extent the use of a public language. Moreover, the subject must be able to compare past internal and external states with present internal and external states, and must be able to deliberately distinguish itself from other subjects.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 55
Introspection/perception/McGinn: the subjectivity of the human visual sense is in the connection with this sense secondary properties, namely the colors and not in the manner in which they impress our introspection ability. >Subjectivity.
Because even if we had no such higher ability, the experience possessed nevertheless subjective character.
The subjectivity of perception/experience depends on how the world is perceived.
Hidden structure of consciousness: conscious states conceal covert facilities, through which they acquire the ability to hook to brain states. But this is a knowledge-like and no objective obstacle.
I 70ff
Introspection: is "single-channel":
  A cognition ability is limited by its corresponding patterns of causal sensibility: it can only represent with what it can engage itself causally determined.
  The immovable this causal dependency relationship between the states of the ability and the states of the objects in question, the less this ability will report on the objects.
  It is such a very rigid and limited resonation ability of knowledge/cognition. For detecting the states of consciousness there is not rich variety of process options that would correspond to the five senses, which is subjected to a variety of causal channels. E.g. pain.
II 64f
Consciousness/McGinn: E.g. Suppose there is a property "C", which explains how consciousness arises from neuronal tissue. We do not know what "C" is, but we know that there must be this property.
How should we identify this property? The introspection cannot, because it ends at the surface of consciousness.
Introspection says what is happening at present in the consciousness, but not how it happens that it exists. "C" is too close to the brain.
Introspection does not see how consciousness is embodied in matter, it does not see it as an aspect of the physical brain.
The infamous incorrigibility arises from the fact that it actually has no sense to imagine that states of consciousness could elude the reach of introspection.
II 135f
But it is not so that the states of consciousness always and necessarily touch the inner receptors and one would never come to err.
The idea of touching and not touching is rather pointless.
McGinnVsIncorrigibility/introspection: appearance and reality do not coincide in the consciousness. Thesis: In the consciousness there is a level of reality that is not available to us, which is also beyond the appearance. Consciousness has a hidden structure.
This does not mean that there is both a conscious and an unconscious mind.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

McGinn I
Colin McGinn
Problems in Philosophy. The Limits of Inquiry, Cambridge/MA 1993
German Edition:
Die Grenzen vernünftigen Fragens Stuttgart 1996

McGinn II
C. McGinn
The Mysteriouy Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World, New York 1999
German Edition:
Wie kommt der Geist in die Materie? München 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-06-03
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