Knowing One's Own Consciousness: The Epistemic Ontology of Consciousness and Its Implication for the Explanatory Gap Argument(s)

Document Type : Research Paper


School of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur



It is usually, and without much disagreement, regarded that 'knowing one's own consciousness' is strikingly and fundamentally different from 'knowing other things.' The peculiar way in which conscious subjects introspectively know their own consciousness in their immediate awareness is of immense importance with regard to the understanding of consciousness insofar as it has a direct bearing upon consciousness’ fundamental existence. However, when it comes to the understanding of consciousness, the role of consciousness’ introspective knowledge is rather downplayed or not given much importance with regard to its ontology. With this in the background, the whole purpose of this paper is, first, to make the rather obvious point that the very existence of consciousness in its most fundamental form is constituted by this introspective knowledge of it or its epistemic dimension, whereby its ontology gets its epistemological or epistemic nature. Second, it aims to strengthen the explanatory gap argument by appealing to our enhanced understanding of consciousness in terms of its epistemic ontology.


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