Blindsight and philosophy

Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):137-59 (1998)
Abstract
The evidence of blindsight is occasionally used to argue that we can see things, and thus have perceptual belief, without the distinctive visual awareness accompanying normal sight; thereby displacing phenomenality as a component of the concept of vision. I maintain that arguments to this end typically rely on misconceptions about blindsight and almost always ignore associated visual (or visuomotor) pathologies relevant to the lessons of such cases. More specifically, I conclude, first, that the phenomena very likely do not result from dissociations within a single system, but from the interaction of evolutionarily distinct, if interacting, systems; second, that a closer study of spared motor abilities indicates that verbal responses of patients result not from degraded vision but from proprioception; and, finally, above chance verbal responses, being forced guesses, are not tentative beliefs and cannot become beliefs just by training patients to have more confidence in their responses
Keywords Belief  Brain  Perception  Psychology  Science  Vision
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