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The Epistemic Role of Consciousness$
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Declan Smithies

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199917662.001.0001

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(p.223) 7 Accessibilism
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness

Declan Smithies

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 answers the explanatory challenge by combining phenomenal mentalism with accessibilism to yield phenomenal accessibilism. Section 7.1 defines accessibilism as the thesis that epistemic justification is luminous in the sense that you’re always in a position to know which propositions you have epistemic justification to believe. Section 7.2 argues that phenomenal mentalism is part of the best explanation of accessibilism: if accessibilism can be motivated on independent grounds, then phenomenal mentalism is supported by inference to the best explanation. Sections 7.3 and 7.4 use accessibilism to motivate the intuitions about cases that support phenomenal mentalism—namely, clairvoyance, super-blindsight, and the new evil demon problem. Finally, section 7.5 answers the explanatory challenge for phenomenal mentalism: epistemic justification is determined by your current phenomenally individuated mental states because they are luminous by introspection.

Keywords:   epistemic justification, phenomenal mentalism, accessibilism, phenomenal accessibilism, luminosity, clairvoyance, super-blindsight, new evil demon

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