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5.2a. Observational Accounts (Observational Accounts on PhilPapers)

See also:
Arnold, Denis G. (1997). Introspection and its objects. Journal of Philosophical Research 22 (April):87-94.   (Google)
Brueckner, Anthony L. (2003). Self-knowledge via inner observation of external objects? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):118-122.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Harold Langsam has recently presented a novel observational account of self-knowledge. I critically discuss this account and argue that it fails to provide a uniform understanding of how we are able to know the contents of our own thoughts
Charlton, William (1986). Knowing what we think. Philosophical Quarterly 36 (April):196-211.   (Google | More links)
Finkelstein, David H. (1999). On self-blindness and inner sense. Philosophical Topics 26:105-19.   (Google)
Gertler, Brie (2009). Introspection. In Patrick Wilken, Timothy J. Bayne & Axel Cleeremans (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Alas, things are not quite so simple. As James implies, the term ‘introspection’ literally means ‘looking within’, but of course we do not visually inspect the interiors of our crania. What unites proponents of introspection is the claim that we can recognize our own mental states through some sort of attention—a non-visual ‘looking’—whose immediate objects are thoughts or sensations within oneself, in a non-spatial sense of ‘within’. (The term ‘introspection’ is occasionally given an ecumenical gloss, to refer to any method of knowing one’s own mental states, and not just self-directed attention. But the more restrictive use is standard, and provides the topic of the current entry.) As we will see, some contemporary philosophers and psychologists doubt that any such introspective process underlies self-knowledge
Gotterbarn, Donald (1974). A note on Locke's theory of self-knowledge. Journal of the History of Philosophy 12 (2).   (Google)
Kind, Amy (2003). Shoemaker, self-blindness and Moore's paradox. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):39-48.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I show how the 'innersense' (quasiperceptual) view of introspection can be defended against Shoemaker's influential 'argument from selfblindness'. If introspection and perception are analogous, the relationship between beliefs and introspective knowledge of them is merely contingent. Shoemaker argues that this implies the possibility that agents could be selfblind, i.e., could lack any introspective awareness of their own mental states. By invoking Moore's paradox, he rejects this possibility. But because Shoemaker's discussion conflates introspective awareness and selfknowledge, he cannot establish his conclusion. There is thirdperson evidence available to the selfblind which Shoemaker ignores, and it can account for the considerations from Moore's paradox that he raises
Larkin, William S. (ms). A broad perceptual model of privileged introspective judgments.   (Google)
Lormand, Eric (ms). Inner sense until proven guilty.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: Can one sense one’s own mind, as one senses nonmental entities in one’s environment and body? According to many contemporary philosophers of mind, the fraudulent commonsense idea of a "mind’s eye" obstructs clearheaded attempts to explain introspection and consciousness. I concede that inner sense cannot directly explain consciousness and introspection in all their forms, but I do think a carefully specified kind of inner sense can account for one very special kind of introspective consciousness. It is special because it is the key to explaining the most puzzling kind of consciousness, phenomenal consciousness—there being "something it is like" to have certain mental states. My aim in this paper is to defend this view against accusations— twenty-two in all!—rather than to argue positively for the view. However, I begin by indicating some of the motivation for the account I defend
Lormand, Eric (2000). Shoemaker and "inner sense". Philosophical Topics.   (Google)
MacDonald, Cynthia (1998). Self-knowledge and the "inner eye". Philosophical Explorations 1 (2):83-106.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is knowledge of one's own current, consciously entertained intentional states a form of inner awareness? If so, what form? In this paper I explore the prospects for a quasi-observational account of a certain class of cases where subjects appear to have self-knowledge, namely, the so-called cogito-like cases. In section one I provide a rationale for the claim that we need an epistemology of self-knowledge, and specifically, an epistemology of the cogito-like cases. In section two I argue that contentful properties in such cases have two features in common with observational properties of objects. In section three, I develop a quasi-observational account of self-knowledge for the cogito-like cases by considering various accounts of the nature of observational properties (specifically, secondary qualities) and by applying them to these cases. I conclude by addressing some important objections to the account
MacDonald, Cynthia (1999). Shoemaker on self-knowledge and inner sense. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):711-38.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Myers, Gerald E. (1986). Introspection and self-knowledge. American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (April):199-207.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Newton, Natika (1988). Introspection and perception. Topoi 7 (March):25-30.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Sydney Shoemaker argues that introspection, unlike perception, provides no identification information about the self, and that knowledge of one''s mental states should be conceived as arising in a direct and unmediated fashion from one''s being in those states. I argue that while one does not identify aself as the subject of one''s states, one does frequently identify and misidentify thestates, in ways analogous to the identification of objects in perception, and that in discourse about one''s mental states the self plays the role of external reality in discourse about physical objects. Discourse about any sort of entity or property can be viewed as involving a domain or frame of reference which constrains what can be said about the entities; this view is related to Johnson-Laird''s theory of mental models. On my approach evidence, including sensory evidence, may be involved in decisions about one''s mental states. I conclude that while Shoemaker may well be right about different roles for sense impressions in introspection and perception, the exact differences and their significance remain to be established
Reynolds, Steven L. (1992). Self-recognition. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (167):182-190.   (Google | More links)
Rosenberg, Jay F. (2000). Perception vs. inner sense: A problem about direct awareness. Philosophical Studies 101 (2-3):143-160.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1994). Lecture III: The phenomenal character of experience -- self knowledge and inner sense. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):291-314.   (Google)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1994). Self-knowledge and "inner sense". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54:249-314.   (Google)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1994). Self-knowledge and "inner sense": Lecture I: The object perception model. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):249-269.   (Google | More links)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1994). Self-knowledge and "inner sense": Lecture III: The phenomenal character of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):291-314.   (Google | More links)
Thomasson, Amie L. (2006). Self-awareness and self-knowledge. Psyche 12 (2).   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Higher-order theories and neo-Brentanian theories of consciousness both consider conscious states to be states of which we have some sort of
Zimmerman, Aaron Z. (2008). Self-knowledge: Rationalism vs. empiricism. Philosophy Compass 3 (2):325–352.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent philosophical discussions of self-knowledge have focused on basic cases: our knowledge of our own thoughts, beliefs, sensations, experiences, preferences, and intentions. Empiricists argue that we acquire this sort of self-knowledge through inner perception; rationalists assign basic self-knowledge an even more secure source in reason and conceptual understanding. I try to split the difference. Although our knowledge of our own beliefs and thoughts is conceptually insured, our knowledge of our experiences is relevantly like our perceptual knowledge of the external world.