On needing time to think

consciousness, temporality, and self-expression

Charles Siewert

pp. 413-429

I examine an argument proposed by Tye and Wright (2011), inspired by Geach (1957), which holds that a correct understanding of how conceptual thought occurs in time demands we expel it from experience. This would imply—pace William James— that the “stream of consciousness” is not, even in part, a “stream of thought.” I argue that if we closely examine what seems to support crucial premises of their argument, we will find this undermines its other assumptions, and points us to a way of placing thought in time that they neglect. Ultimately, attention to the phenomenology of language comprehension and production not only undercuts (what I’ll call) their “temporality argument” against including thought in experience; it prepares the ground for a case in favor of inclusion. In critiquing their argument I hope not just to disarm an objection to a view I espouse, nor even just to discover new support for it, but also to shed some light on the temporality of thought and its relation to self-expression.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11097-019-09631-8

Full citation:

Siewert, C. (2020). On needing time to think: consciousness, temporality, and self-expression. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3), pp. 413-429.

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