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The Epistemic Role of Consciousness - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Epistemic Role of Consciousness

Declan Smithies


What is the role of consciousness in our mental lives? This book argues that consciousness plays an essential role in explaining how we can acquire knowledge and epistemically justified belief about ourselves and our surroundings. On this view, our mental lives cannot be preserved in unconscious creatures—zombies—who behave just as we do. Only conscious creatures have epistemic justification to form beliefs about the world. Zombies cannot know anything about the world, since they have no epistemic justification to believe anything. On this view, all epistemic justification depends ultimately o ... More

Keywords: phenomenal consciousness, epistemic justification, zombie, phenomenal mentalism, accessibilism, phenomenal accessibilism, perception, cognition, introspection

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199917662
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199917662.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Declan Smithies, author
Professor of Philosophy, Ohio State University

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