• transparent introspection;
  • visual experiences;
  • Fred Dretske


The aim of this article is to provide an account of introspective knowledge concerning visual experiences that is in accordance with the idea of transparent introspection. According to transparent introspection, a person gains knowledge of her own current mental state M solely by paying attention to those aspects of the external world which M is about. In my view, transparent introspection is a promising alternative to inner sense theories. However, it raises the fundamental question why a person who pays attention to something extra-mental should be epistemically justified in holding a belief about something intra-mental. In his Naturalizing the Mind, Fred Dretske solves this problem by conceiving of introspection concerning visual experiences as an inference based on a connecting belief. Although Dretske's account proves defective upon closer inspection, its essence can be salvaged by looking upon introspection as being a game of make-believe.