CFP: Consciousness and Its Epistemic Roles [Synthese Topical Collection]

Submission deadline: December 31, 2023

Topic areas


In the era of specialisation or even hyper-specialisation, it is often, though not always the case, that epistemology and philosophy of mind neglect each other; famous exceptions in the late 20th century include Fred Dretske (1981), Alvin Goldman (1986), and John McDowell (1996). In the past twenty years, the interactions between these two branches of philosophy have been thriving; prominent examples include Michael Huemer (2007), Bill Brewer (2011), Susanna Siegel (2016), Nicholas Silins (2016), Susanna Schellenberg (2018), Declan Smithies (2019), and Anil Gupta (2019). In this topical collection proposal, we seek to explore one specific aspect of the intersections between epistemology and philosophy of mind: consciousness and its epistemic roles. The plural here is crucial, as we hope to leave open potential epistemic roles of consciousness explored by different philosophers. Issues suitable for submission include but not limited to the following:

-       Does perceptual justification require consciousness? If so, which kind(s) of consciousness? Do unconscious perceptions have any rational contributions?

-       Which theory of perceptual experiences best explains their epistemic roles?

-       What is the relation between cognitive penetration, conscious contents, and justification?

-       What is the relation between consciousness, introspection and self-knowledge?

-       What are the viable versions of mentalism and accessibilism, if any?

-       Is there such a thing as phenomenal evidence? If so, what’s the nature of it?

-       Are conscious experiences luminous, in the sense that the subject is always in a position to access them?

-       Must consciousness have conceptual contents in order to play justificatory roles?

-       Do considerations of the epistemic roles of consciousness help explore its metaphysical nature? If so, how?

For further information, please contact the guest editors: Tony Cheng ([email protected]), Takuya Niikawa ([email protected])

The deadline for submissions in August 31st, 2023. This due day might be extended, but we are expecting to proceed as soon as possible.

For submission, please use the journal's online system, and select this special issue title.

Tony Cheng (Department of Philosophy, National Chengchi University)

Takuya Niikawa (Graduate School of Humanities and Faculty of Letters, Kobe University)

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