The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge by Peter CarruthersThe Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge by Peter Carruthers

The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge

byPeter Carruthers

Paperback | August 12, 2013

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It is widely believed that people have privileged and authoritative access to their own thoughts, and many theories have been proposed to explain this supposed fact. The Opacity of Mind challenges the consensus view and subjects the theories in question to critical scrutiny, while showing thatthey are not protected against the findings of cognitive science by belonging to a separate "explanatory space". The book argues that our access to our own thoughts is almost always interpretive, grounded in perceptual awareness of our own circumstances and behavior, together with our own sensoryimagery (including inner speech). In fact our access to our own thoughts is no different in principle from our access to the thoughts of other people, utilizing the conceptual and inferential resources of the same 'mindreading' faculty, and relying on many of the same sources of evidence. Peter Carruthers proposes and defends the Interpretive Sensory-Access (ISA) theory of self-knowledge. This is supported through comprehensive examination of many different types of evidence from across cognitive science, integrating a diverse set of findings into a single well-articulated theory.One outcome is that there are hardly any kinds of conscious thought. Another is that there is no such thing as conscious agency.Written with Carruthers' usual clarity and directness, this book will be essential reading for philosophers interested in self-knowledge, consciousness, and related areas of philosophy. It will also be of vital interest to cognitive scientists, since it casts the existing data in a new theoreticallight. Moreover, the ISA theory makes many new predictions while also suggesting constraints and controls that should be placed on future experimental investigations of self-knowledge.
Peter Carruthers is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He has published widely across different areas of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. His books include The Architecture of the Mind: Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Thought (Oxford University Press, 2006), Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalist...
Title:The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-KnowledgeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:456 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0 inPublished:August 12, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199685142

ISBN - 13:9780199685141

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and TablesPrefaceAcknowledgements1. Introduction2. The Mental Transparency Assumption3. The ISA Theory: Foundations and Elaborations4. Transparent Sensory Access to Attitudes?5. Transparent Sensory Access to Affect6. Intermediate-Strength Transparent-Access Theories7. Inner Sense Theories8. Mindreading in Mind9. Metacognition and Control10. Dissociation Data11. Self-Interpretation and Confabulation12. Conclusion and ImplicationsReferencesIndex of NamesIndex of Subjects

Editorial Reviews

"a terrific book ... rich and thought-provoking." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews