Chromatically rich phenomenal percepts

Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):27-44 (2004)
Abstract
Visual percepts frequently appear chromatically rich, yet their paucity in reportable information has led to widely accepted minimalist models of vision. The discrepancy may be resolved by positing that the richness of natural scenes is reflected in phenomenal consciousness but not in detail in the phenomenal judgments upon which reports about qualia are based. Conceptual awareness (including phenomenal judgments) arises from neural mechanisms that categorize objects, and also from mechanisms that conceptually characterize textural properties of pre-categorically segmented regions in the visual field. Experimental evidence suggests that complex images instigate the generation of so-called ensemble phenomenal judgments. These involve concepts that categorize global attributes of segmented areas but carry no information pertaining to details. It is then argued that there are cogent reasons for believing that phenomenal percepts (i.e. qualia) arising from chromatically complex stimuli cohere in this ensemble sense with both the stimulus and with the resulting ensemble phenomenal judgments. Thus, spatially detailed retinal images are deemed to yield correspondingly detailed phenomenal experiences that are in turn conceptually apprehended via a relatively small number of ensemble phenomenal judgments. Lastly, it is suggested that the bridge locus for chromatically rich phenomenal experiences is most plausibly located early in the cortical visual pathway
Keywords Color  Consciousness  Epistemology  Judgment  Percept
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