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Journal Articles Journal of Consciousness Studies Year : 2009

The validity of first-person descriptions as authenticity and coherence

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Abstract

In this paper we list the various criticisms that have been formulated against introspection, from Auguste Comte denying that consciousness can observe itself, to recent criticisms of the reliability of first person descriptions. We show on the one hand that these criticisms rely on poor knowledge of the introspective process, and on the other hand on a naïve conception of scientific objectivity. Two kinds of answers are offered: the first one is grounded on a refined description of the process of becoming aware of one’s experience and describing it, the second one relies on a description of the methods of the experimental sciences. We conclude the article by providing a renewed definition of ‘the truth’ of a first person description.
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Dates and versions

hal-00434456 , version 1 (23-11-2009)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-00434456 , version 1

Cite

Claire Petitmengin, Michel Bitbol. The validity of first-person descriptions as authenticity and coherence. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2009, 16 (10-12), pp.252-284. ⟨hal-00434456⟩
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