The First-Person Perspective and Other Essays

The essays in this collection deal with the way in which we know our own minds. Professor Shoemaker opposes the "inner sense" conception of introspective self-knowledge. He defends the view that perceptual and sensory states have nonrepresentational features--"qualia"--that determine what it is like to have them. Among the other topics covered are the unity of consciousness, and the idea that the "first-person perspective" gives a privileged route to philosophical understanding of the nature of mind.


"I believe that Shomemaker's papers on self-knowledge and the nature of phenomenal consciousness . . . constitute a deeply original and systematic body of work on these most difficult and perplexing philosophical issues." --Jaegwon Kim, Brown University

"The book will, I am sure, be regarded as must-reading by philosophers of mind; the papers are at the cutting edge of discussion of knowledge of our own mental states." --Brian McLaughlin, Rutgers University

"This collection seems to me the plum among the many impressive recent philosophical treatments of consciousness and self-knowledge, and the most useful as a starting point for further work. Every turn is made brilliantly and plainly, with lucid, compelling argumentation...." Mark Crimmins, Dialogue