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AcquaintanceNew Essays$
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Jonathan Knowles and Thomas Raleigh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803461

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Natural Acquaintance

Natural Acquaintance

(p.49) 2 Natural Acquaintance

Sam Coleman

Oxford University Press

Notwithstanding its phenomenological appeal, physicalists have tended to shun the notion that we are ‘acquainted’ with our mental states in consciousness, due to the fact that the acquaintance relation seems mysterious, irreducible, and consequently unnatural. I propose a model of conscious experience based on the idea of ‘mental quotation’, and argue that this captures what we want from acquaintance but without any threat to naturalism. More generally the chapter embodies a complaint that reductionists seem unable to look past the representation relation to do the implementing of consciousness, and a call for theorists to investigate other relations to model our connection to our conscious states, like the constitution/part-whole relationship. This mundane relation has what it takes to give us natural acquaintance with our conscious-mental states.

Keywords:   acquaintance, consciousness, Russell, higher-order thought theory, physicalism

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