Topoi

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 5–10 | Cite as

Unconscious sensations

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

Abstract

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.

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References

  1. Armstrong, D. M.: 1968,A Materialist Theory of Mind, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. M. and N. Malcolm: 1984,Consciousness and Causality, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. Churchland, P. S.: 1983, ‘Consciousness: The transmutation of a concept’,Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64, 80–95.Google Scholar
  4. Locke, J.: 1959,An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Volume One, Dover, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Wilkes, K. V.: 1984, ‘Is consciousness important?’,British Journal of the Philosophy of Science 35, 223–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

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

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