The Evil Demon Meets the Invisible Gorilla
Edvard Avilés

part of: 26th Annual Oxford Graduate Philosophy Conference
November 13, 2022, 11:30am - 12:30pm
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Lecture Room
Faculty of Philosophy
Oxford OX2 6GG
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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  • Aristotelian Society
  • Royal Institute of Philosophy
  • Analysis Trust
  • Faculty of Philosophy


Oxford University
Oxford University
University of Oxford
University of Oxford
University of Oxford

Topic areas



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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