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Why introspection doesn't work | Neuro-patch
What do we have when we introspect? – we have consciousness of a memory of a short part of the recent stream of consciousness. We are not looking directly at an instant of consciousness. We are looking at recently past consciousness and we are not looking at an instant but at whatever is grouped in one unit of memory. The consciousness that we experience is not permanent – it was gone almost immediately leaving only a little memory. As soon as we try to examine its details, we are looking at a memory. Unless we have a photographic memory, a lot of detail is lost in forming a memory and there is a 'smudging' of the experience over a somewhat longer period of time in the memory process. There is no reason to believe that a recalled memory is identical to the original conscious experience. We experience consciousness but we cannot actually examine it directly, only the memory of it. Well, the memory of recent conscious experience might by useful. Suppose it is very close to the conscious