when what is introspection? Is introspection a real thing?or is introspection some false mental process that we could explain away from some scientific story. Introspection seems to be one of the words, which the continental philosopher seems to enjoy. Introspection seemed like one of those words, which I just didn’t want to use; freewill is another one of these kind of words that I don’t want to use. But as I I think about introspection, I see it as an indispensable tool.
Consider introspection as a medium;a means of finding out propositions about the world,it is a way of discovering the structure of the mind. Or perhaps, the structure of reality. Introspection, what sort of things can be learnt by introspection? Let’s say, as a starting point that a particular candidate for analysis for the case of introspection could be Newton’s discoveries. I once sat before a seminar run by both Alexander Bird and Paul Hoyningen-Huene, where the latter talked about introspection; he said it was sort of a non-issue, or moot point whether introspection as a priori or also a mix of the a priori and the a posteriori. the point that we can learn from introspection is that we can learn things from it.
let me now address the different kinds of species of things that we can learn from introspection: we can revise our beliefs about the world and ourselves, we can devise new beliefs about the world. either from what we know already, or the derivation of new beliefs from first principles alone; that is, truths which are definitionally true.
It is the latter that many philosophers dislike these days; rationalists commonly deem mathematics as the paradigm of their knowledge; for mathematics is seen as the ultimate task of introspection. Consider Bacon’s analogy of the spiders; us philosophers seek to be spiders, not bees, or ants.
Introspection seems to be the foundation of any future metaphysic; but let me consider a more real term usage of this thing we call introspection. when I finally something about my own inner states. I can change my beliefs. conditionalisation for instance, or to give another lovely Nussbaum example, I discover that I am in love instantiate that belief that it is true that I am: that is to say to believe you are in love is a process of discovery is what makes that belief true. what about when we change our minds about the belief we used to believe that a certain person was an honourable, then we find out they are pathetic, we learn something like this from introspection we change our beliefs, by means of looking upon our beliefs and revising them.
Introspection, is not the discovery of knowledge at the process by which we form beliefs, whether these beliefs are true: I do not really have the merit to answer that right now.
Michael ( and Destre)