, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 5–10

Unconscious sensations

  • Lynn Stephens
Topos: Self-Consciousness and Self-Knowledge

DOI: 10.1007/BF00776204

Cite this article as:
Stephens, L. Topoi (1988) 7: 5. doi:10.1007/BF00776204


D. M. Armstrong proposes to explain the possibility of unconscious sensations by means of a distinction between the perceptual consciousness, which is essentially involved in sensations, and our introspective consciousness of sensations. He holds that unconscious sensations are instances of perceptual consciousness of which we are not introspectively conscious. I contend that, although Armstrong's distinction is plausible and significant, it fails to explain his own examples of unconscious sensation. I argue that the puzzle of how unconscious sensations are possible arises at the level of perceptual consciousness and does not concern our introspective awareness of mental states.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn Stephens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham University StationBirminghamUSA