During the last couple of decades, so called representationalist theories of mind have gained increased popularity. These theories describe mental states in terms of representations of external objects and states of affairs. It is also often held that the content of a subject’s thoughts and perceptions is determined by facts outside her mind, such as social relations between her and other people and causal relations between her and external objects. Some representationalists even argue that the phenomenal character of perceptual experiences is determined by external factors in the sense that the truth conditions of statements like: “it looks blue” involve such facts. This entails that so called “phenomenal properties” such as colours are not properties of my experiences or even determined by such properties. This thesis has been labelled “phenomenal externalism” by e.g., Fred Dretske1 and William Lycan2. Introspection has traditionally been described as a subject’s immediate awareness of her own experiences. It has been assumed that the subject has a special and privileged access to her experiences which means that she cannot be mistaken either about the content of her beliefs and experiences or about what they feel like to her. A long lived theory about introspection is that the introspective process is similar to perception, only the objects of the introspective process are “inner” instead of “outer”. This model seems to entail that experiences also share relevant similarities with external objects, such as having intrinsic properties, properties the subject is aware of when observing the objects in question.
Department of Philosophy
Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis