Philosophical Studies

, Volume 165, Issue 3, pp 1177–1186 | Cite as

On the unreliability of introspection



In his provocative and engaging new book, Perplexities of Consciousness, Eric Schwitzgebel makes a compelling case that introspection is unreliable in the sense that we are prone to ignorance and error in making introspective judgments about our own conscious experience. My aim in this commentary is to argue that Schwitzgebel’s thesis about the unreliability of introspection does not have the damaging implications that he claims it does for the prospects of a broadly Cartesian approach to epistemology.


Introspection Self-knowledge Consciousness Experience Unreliability Brute error Basing error Cartesian epistemology Eric Schwitzgebel 



Thanks to Eric Schwitzgebel, Daniel Stoljar and an audience at the Pacific Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in April 2012 for helpful comments and discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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