David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Consciousness and Cognition 6 (1):67-74 (1997)
Philosophers concerned with issues of mind have been turning to the neurosciences, especially neuropsychology, for empirical guidance. While I endorse this emphasis, I find that one important neuropsychological phenomenon, blindsight appears to have been misused by some prominent philosophers. In this paper, I examine this alleged misuse by spelling out the accounts of blindsight given by Daniel Dennett and Ned Block. I attempt to show that both Dennett and Block have ignored many complications surrounding blindsight including subjects' reports of visual sensations. This neglect has serious ramifications for their respective models of human consciousness which I also try to explicate. Further, by misrepresenting blindsight, these accounts serve to hamper scientific and philosophical understanding of the phenomenon and of consciousness. I conclude by sketching a model of blindsight that acknowledges these neglected details
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References found in this work BETA
Ned Block (1992). Begging the Question Against Phenomenal Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (2):205-206.
Ned Block (1990). Consciousness and Accessibility. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):596-598.
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Robert N. McCauley (1993). Why the Blind Can't Lead the Blind: Dennett on the Blind Spot, Blindsight, and Sensory Qualia. Consciousness and Cognition 2 (2):155-64.
Vilayanur S. Ramachandran & Richard L. Gregory (1991). Perceptual Filling in of Artificially Induced Scotomas in Human Vision. Nature 350:699-702.
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