What Is Acquaintance with Consciousness?

  • Jonathan SimonEmail author
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 6)


It is a plausible thought that we are acquainted with our own phenomenal states, and that there are special canonical concepts of those states – phenomenal concepts – that in some sense or another facilitate this acquaintance. Let Acquaintance be the claim that our most general concept of phenomenal consciousness – the concept consciousness – is such a canonical concept, facilitating acquaintance with the property of being phenomenally conscious. In ‘Orthodox Property Dualism + The Linguistic Theory of Vagueness = Panpsychism’, Phillip Goff attempts to put a version of Acquaintance to work. He first argues that Orthodox Property Dualists – those who accept Property Dualism on the basis of arguments from epistemic gaps to ontological gaps – are committed to his version of Acquaintance, which he dubs Phenomenal Transparency. He then argues that Phenomenal Transparency implies that consciousness is not a vague concept, and finally he argues that this means Orthodox Property Dualists should be Panpsychists.


Property Dualist Phenomenal Concept Phenomenal State Phenomenal Consciousness Concept Consciousness 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postdoc in the School of PhilosophyCentre for Consciousness at ANUChevy ChaseUSA

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