Why the blind can't lead the blind: Dennett on the blind spot, blindsight, and sensory qualia

Consciousness and Cognition 2 (2):155-64 (1993)
Abstract
In Consciousness Explained Dan Dennett proposes a deflationary treatment of sensory qualia. He seeks to establish a continuity among both the neural and the conscious phenomena connected with the blind spot and with the perception of repetitive patterns on the one hand and the neutral and conscious phenomena connected with blindsight on the other. He aims to analyze the conscious phenomena associated with each in terms of what the brain ignores. Dennett offers a thought experiment about a blindsight patient who has the sensory information that normals do, but who seems not to have their sensory qualia.What is it that normals know that this blindsight patient does not? Dennett′s answer is "nothing." Dennett′s denial of "filling-in" accounts of repetitive patterns and the blind spot constitute a Rylean intuition pump for this thought experiment. Research by Ramachandran raises important problems for Dennett′s account. Moreover, Dennett′s attempt to discount the significance of "artificial scotomas" inadvertently employs a principle that undermines his case for establishing the continuity between the phenomena in question
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J. D. Tapp (1997). Blindsight in Hindsight. Consciousness and Cognition 6 (1):67-74.
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