Michelle Montague: "The phenomenology of conscious thought"

Lecture by Michelle Montague, Department of Philosophy, Bristol University, UK


In this paper, I ask the question ‘What does conscious occurrent thought consist in?' I first argue that the notion of ‘access-consciousness' cannot provide a satisfactory answer and that we must appeal to phenomenological properties. If this is right, a further question arises about what kind of phenomenological features are required. Can conscious occurrent thought be accounted for solely in terms of sensory phenomenology, including both verbal and non-verbal imagery? I argue that the answer is ‘no', and that we must appeal to what is now often called ‘cognitive phenomenology' to say what conscious occurrent thought consists in.