[SydPhil] Reminder: Lähteenmäki Vili, University of Jyvälskylä, Finalnd @ Wed 2 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 (Seminars)
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Thu Mar 27 15:30:13 AEDT 2014
This is a reminder for:
Title: Lähteenmäki Vili, University of Jyvälskylä, Finalnd
CONSCIOUSNESS AND SELF-KNOWLEDGE IN DESCARTES
According to 'a traditional view' of the Cartesian mind and its capacity to
know itself, the mind's knowledge of itself is incorrigible in that the
mind cannot err in its beliefs about its thoughts and evident in that the
mind knows without further proof what thought it is having. These features
are associated with a view according to which, for Descartes, consciousness
(conscientia) has a weighty role: it is the essence of the mind and a form
of immediate self-knowledge, i.e., something that by itself provides
knowledge of one's own thoughts. Many scholars of Descartes have critically
discussed the overall role of self-knowledge in Descartes as well as his
commitment to such features of self-knowledge as incorrigibility, evidence,
In my talk I will attempt to show how Descartes' notion of consciousness
relates to self-knowledge and to work out his view on how self-knowledge
comes about in the light of various ways the mind relates to itself in its
acts of thought. I will argue that the Cartesian mind can relate to itself
in 3 distinct ways. The first way is included in Cartesian consciousness.
The other two are more robust self-relations that differ from each other
with regard to automaticity or voluntariness of the reflective act.
Consciousness, by itself, does not amount to knowledge. That a thinking
subject is conscious of an occurring thought means (only) that the
thought's content is present to the mind in virtue of the act of thinking.
However, the picture is complicated as our imaginings, sensations, and
feelings that consist in mere perceptions are more often than not
accompanied by background judgments and reflex acts. Background judgments
and reflex acts are not present to the thinking subject as distinct acts,
but constituents of phenomenologically conjoined thought clusters. I will
explain how such background judgements and reflex acts, which can provide
self-knowledge, come about and how they relate to consciousness.
When: Wed 2 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: Muniment Room, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney
* Dalia Nassar- creator
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