Perception preattentive and phenomenal

Recent work in experimental psychology and neuroscience has revealed a rather surprising architecture for early (or preattentive) perceptual processes. This paper will describe some of the surprising features of that architecture, and how they bear on recent philosophical debates about the notion of phenomenal consciousness. I will argue that the common sense idea that states of phenomenal consciousness are states of a unitary kind cannot survive confrontation with the details of how our early perceptual processing works. In particular, that architecture forces us to contemplate the prospect of phenomenal consciousness being sundered in two, with states that have phenomenal character making an appearance far before the arrival of anything one could call consciousness or awareness.
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