... Chapter 7 of my book in draft (provisionally titled Perplexities of Consciousness) is now up on my website. The chapter is independently readable -- a slightly revised version of my 2008 article of the same title -- and it's the argumentative core of the book. Comments and feedback more than welcome.
With this posting, a working draft of the entire book (except preface and references) is now available. Over the next couple of months (hopefully not too much longer) I will be tweaking and revising in light of further reflections, further reading, and the comments and criticisms that many people have kindly given.
Here's an abstract of the chapter:
We are prone to gross error, even in favorable circumstances of extended reflection, about our own ongoing conscious experience, our current phenomenology. Even in this apparently privileged domain, our self-knowledge is faulty and untrustworthy. We are not simply fallible at the margins but broadly inept. Examples highlighted in this chapter include: emotional experience (for example, is it entirely bodily; does joy have a common, distinctive phenomenological core?), peripheral vision (how broad and stable is the region of visual clarity?), and the phenomenology of thought (does it have a distinctive phenomenology, beyond just imagery and feelings?). Cartesian skeptical scenarios undermine knowledge of ongoing conscious experience as well as knowledge of the outside world. Infallible judgments about ongoing mental states are simply banal cases of self-fulfillment. Philosophical foundationalism supposing that we infer an external world from secure knowledge of our own consciousness is almost exactly backward.