Consciousness Thought

The Gurdjieff Teachings: a Practical System of Instruction by Dr.Bruce S. Fisher

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By Dr.Bruce S. Fisher

The Gurdjieff Teachings - a pragmatic method of guideline for reaching better attention via Self-Awareness

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Extra resources for The Gurdjieff Teachings: a Practical System of Instruction for Attaining Higher Consciousness Through Self-Awareness

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Granting all this, the question remains: How does that provide for privileged access to the content of one’s thought? How does that allow us to, as quoted above, “retain the conviction that access to one’s own states of mind is epistemically privileged”? Heil’s talk of a further external condition determining a content that encompasses the content of a first-order thought is part of his attempt to show how, the skeptic notwithstanding, externalism can account for privileged access. But content determination is one thing and privileged access to content is another.

Obviously, one must have already individuated the minimal content to do either. And one must be able, when the occasion arises, to re-identify it as the same thought as one had before. To explicate a thought, on the other hand, one must explain how that thought relates to other thoughts. One must state a good number of properties the represented object is to have and, where appropriate, show that it possesses those properties. In the case of numbers, this amounts to providing proofs of and commentaries on theorems.

This is not to say that either A or B would have any understanding if she were unable to perform some relevant symbol manipulations, only that symbol manipulation is not sufficient to determine understanding since, at least in this case, it is not sufficient to determine either the thinker’s minimal content or the objective content of her thought. 16 Chapter 1 Furthermore, as the consideration below of the theorist C will show, one may be aware of the same minimal content as A, even though one’s symbol-manipulating ability is considerably inferior to A’s.

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