• Corpus ID: 18131115

How Well Do We Know Our Own Conscious Experience? The Case of Visual Imagery

  title={How Well Do We Know Our Own Conscious Experience? The Case of Visual Imagery},
  author={Eric Schwitzgebel},
Philosophers tend to assume that we have excellent knowledge of our own current conscious experience or ‘phenomenology’. I argue that our knowledge of one aspect of our experience, the experience of visual imagery, is actually rather poor. Precedent for this position is found among the introspective psychologists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Two main arguments are advanced toward the conclusion that our knowledge of our own imagery is poor. First, the reader is asked to… 
Describing Inner Experience?: Proponent Meets Skeptic
Can conscious experience be described accurately? Can we give reliable accounts of our sensory experiences and pains, our inner speech and imagery, our felt emotions? The question is central not only
Differential Imagery Experience and Ut Pictura Poesis in the 18th-century
That the ability to visualise, to see with ‘the mind's eye’, varies between individuals has been known since Francis Galton reported on the results of his ‘Breakfast Table’ questionnaire in 1880.
Classical Introspection Revisited: Implications of Research on Visual Imagery for the Functions of Pristine Inner Experience as Apprehended by Descriptive Experience Sampling
Classical Introspection (CI) was the first formal scientific method to investigate conscious experience, but it fell into disrepute. Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) has been proposed as a
No unchallengeable epistemic authority, of any sort, regarding our own conscious experience – Contra Dennett?
Dennett argues that we can be mistaken about our own conscious experience. Despite this, he repeatedly asserts that we can or do have unchallengeable authority of some sort in our reports about that
Meanings and Connotations of ‘ Mental Imagery ’ Mental imagery
  • Psychology, Art
  • 2016
Mental imagery (varieties of which are sometimes colloquially referred to as "visualizing," "seeing in the mind's eye," "hearing in the head," "imagining the feel of," etc.) is quasi-perceptual
Subjective Measures of Consciousness
Reports seem like a straightforward and unproblematic way assess whether subjects are conscious of a stimulus. However, several researchers have suggested that some sort of introspective training is
Do You Have Constant Tactile Experience of Your Feet in Your Shoes? Or Is Experience Limited to What's in Attention?
According to rich views of consciousness (e.g., James, Searle), we have a constant, complex flow of experience (or 'phenom- enology') in multiple modalities simultaneously. According to thin views
Personality differences in mental imagery and the effects on verbal memory.
Questions remain about the power of eitherDual coding theory or dual coding theory to explain the role of individual differences in personality on recall, particularly given that imagery vividness effects were related to extraversion while differences in recall wererelated to neuroticism.
Why people see things that are not there: A novel Perception and Attention Deficit model for recurrent complex visual hallucinations
A novel Perception and Attention Deficit (PAD) model for RCVH is proposed, suggesting that a combination of impaired attentional binding and poor sensory activation of a correct proto-object, in conjunction with a relatively intact scene representation, allows the intrusion of a hallucinatory proto- object into a scene perception.


Mental imagery: In search of a theory
  • Z. Pylyshyn
  • Psychology, Philosophy
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2002
It is claimed that when such questions as whether images are depictive or spatial are formulated more clearly, the evidence does not provide support for the picture-theory over a symbol-structure theory of mental imagery, and whether recent neuroscience evidence clarifies the debate over the nature of mental images is considered.
What the Mind’s Eye Tells the Mind’s Brain: A Critique of Mental Imagery
This paper presents a critique of contemporary research which uses the notion of a mental image as a theoretical construct to describe one form of memory representation. It is argued that an adequate
Experience and Theory as Determinants of Attitudes toward Mental Representation: The Case of Knight Dunlap and the Vanishing Images of J.B. Watson
Galton and subsequent investigators find wide divergences in people's subjective reports of mental imagery. Such individual differences might be taken to explain the peculiarly irreconcilable
Is Visual Thinking “Imageless Thought”?
The three nonsignificant correlations support nineteenth-century arguments that vivid imagers tend to construct sensory representations of unconscious visual thoughts, whereas “imageless thinkers” tend not to.
Is Introspective Knowledge Incorrigible
BY SENSE PERCEPTION we can become aware of the current state of our physical environment, including our own body. It is very natural to say that, in similar fashion, we can become aware of the
Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes.
Evidence is reviewed which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Subjects are sometimes (a) unaware of the existence of a stimulus
Consciousness, mental imagery and action
This article is founded on the bold claim that mental imagery is a basic building block of all consciousness. Conscious mental imagery is reported in association with waking, dreaming and
The Principles of Psychology
I.TO give readers some idea of the contents of a good book is very often the most useful thing a reviewer can do. Unfortunately that course is not open to us in the present instance. The subject is
Twenty years of haunting eidetic imagery: where's the ghost?
  • R. Haber
  • Psychology, Biology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 1979
The evidence in the present review casts doubt on eidetic imagery as a developmentally less mature memorial representation, which is gradually replaced by more abstract representations as the child acquires abstract thought, reading, and more advanced cognitive abilities.
Judgements of other people's memory reports: differences in reports as a function of imagery vividness
People reporting vivid imagery may be expected to describe events differently from those with less vivid imagery. The study reported here examined the relationship between imagery vividness and