Dialogue

Articles

Immediate Awareness*

Robert A. Imlaya1

a1 University of Toronto

The purpose of this paper is to show that we should dispense with the concept of immediate awareness, when it takes for its object the existence and nature of our sensations and images.

The question of whether we are immediately aware of the existence and nature of our sensations and images cannot be answered in a reasonable manner unless we have a firm grip on the concept of immediate awareness. Philosophers who have employed it have usually employed it in such a way that the word “immediate” in the corresponding phrase “immediate awareness” describes both the nature of the awareness and how it came to have that nature. When it describes the nature of the awareness “immediate” means “incorrigible”.

(Online publication September 1969)

Footnotes

* I wish to thank Jack Stevenson and Barry Stroud who helped me so very much.