David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
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
Gareth Evans (1982). Varieties of Reference. Oxford University Press.
Thomas Nagel (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.
John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael A. Cohen & Daniel C. Dennett (2011). Consciousness Cannot Be Separated From Function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):358--364.
Ned Block (2011). Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.
Sid Kouider, Vincent de Gardelle, Jérôme Sackur & Emmanuel Dupoux (2010). How Rich is Consciousness? The Partial Awareness Hypothesis. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (7):301-307.
David Bourget (2015). The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1).
Ian B. Phillips (2011). Perception and Iconic Memory: What Sperling Doesn't Show. Mind and Language 26 (4):381-411.
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