The Evil Demon Meets the Invisible GorillaEdvard Avilés
26th Annual Oxford Graduate Philosophy Conference
Faculty of Philosophy
Oxford OX2 6GG
- Aristotelian Society
- Royal Institute of Philosophy
- Analysis Trust
- Faculty of Philosophy
Is attention necessary for consciousness? Some philosophers and cognitive scientists believe that it is not. I’ll call this, "the hypothesis of attentionally elusive experience" or "elusive experience" (EE) for short.
In this paper, I’ll assume that EE is true based on the empirical phenomenon of inattentional blindness, and my main purpose is to analyze EE and present a survey of its epistemological consequences. In particular, I’ll discuss what EE entails for self-knowledge and the justification of introspective beliefs.
For self-knowledge, I claim that EE provides the basis for a Gettier case about introspection and a case of unsafe self-knowledge. For introspective justification, I claim that EE provides the basis for counterexamples to constitutivist and reliabilist theories of introspection. Interestingly, the cases reveal the problems with the apparent luminosity and lustrousity of phenomenal states and show that it’s possible to construe 'new evil demon' scenarios about our own minds.
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