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Too much ado about belief

By Jérôme Dokic and Elisabeth Pacherie

Abstract

Three commitments at least appear to be guiding Dennett's approach to the study of consciousness. First, an ontological commitment to materialist monism. Second, a methodological commitment to what he calls 'heterophenomenology'. Third, a 'doxological' commitment that can be expressed as the view that there is no room for a distinction between a subject's beliefs about how things seem to her and what things actually seem to her, or, to put it otherwise, as the view that there is no room for a reality/appearance distinction for consciousness. Our main aim will be to investigate how Dennett's third doxological commitment relates to his first two commitments and whether its acceptance should be seen as a mere logical consequence of acceptance of the first two. We will argue that this is not the case, that Dennett's doxological commitment is in need of independent motivation, and that this independent motivation is not forthcoming. More specifically, we will argue that there is more to the conscious content of perceptual experience than what transpires in a subject's phenomenal beliefs 1. We will develop two lines of arguments. First, as Marcel (2003) has shown, a distinction of levels of awareness is needed to account for both the relations an

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.371.6728
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