David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247 (1995)
Consciousness is a mongrel concept: there are a number of very different "consciousnesses." Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of "consciousness" based on the phenomenon of blindsight. Some information about stimuli in the blind field is represented in the brains of blindsight patients, as shown by their correct "guesses," but they cannot harness this information in the service of action, and this is said to show that a function of phenomenal consciousness is somehow to enable information represented in the brain to guide action. But stimuli in the blind field are BOTH access-unconscious and phenomenally unconscious. The fallacy is: an obvious function of the machinery of access-consciousness is illicitly transferred to phenomenal consciousness.
|Keywords||access attention awareness blindsight consciousness function retrieval|
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References found in this work BETA
John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
David Bourget (2015). The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1).
Ned Block (2011). Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.
Michael A. Cohen & Daniel C. Dennett (2011). Consciousness Cannot Be Separated From Function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):358--364.
Peter J. Graham (2012). Epistemic Entitlement. Noûs 46 (3):449-482.
Joshua Knobe & Jesse J. Prinz (2008). Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.
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