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Ned Block [123]N. Block [8]N. J. Block [6]Nancy E. Block [1]
Ned Joel Block [1]
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Profile: Ned Block (New York University)
  1.  96
    Ned Block (ed.) (1980). Readings In Philosophy Of Psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    ... PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY is the study of conceptual issues in psychology. For the most part, these issues fall equally well in psychology as in ...
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  2. Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
    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 (...)
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  3. Ned Block & Robert Stalnaker (1999). Conceptual Analysis, Dualism, and the Explanatory Gap. Philosophical Review 108 (1):1-46.
    The explanatory gap . Consciousness is a mystery. No one has ever given an account, even a highly speculative, hypothetical, and incomplete account of how a physical thing could have phenomenal states. Suppose that consciousness is identical to a property of the brain, say activity in the pyramidal cells of layer 5 of the cortex involving reverberatory circuits from cortical layer 6 to the thalamus and back to layers 4 and 6,as Crick and Koch have suggested for visual consciousness. .) (...)
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  4. Ned Block (2007). Consciousness, Accessibility, and the Mesh Between Psychology and Neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):481--548.
    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We can see the problem in stark form if we ask how we could tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their (...)
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  5. Ned Block (2011). Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.
    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations ofconscious perception centerson thequestion of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of ‘iconic memory’ toarguethatperceptual consciousnessisricher (i.e.,has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argumenthas been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the (...)
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  6. Ned Block (2010). Attention and Mental Paint1. Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.
    Much of recent philosophy of perception is oriented towards accounting for the phenomenal character of perception—what it is like to perceive—in a non-mentalistic way—that is, without appealing to mental objects or mental qualities. In opposition to such views, I claim that the phenomenal character of perception of a red round object cannot be explained by or reduced to direct awareness of the object, its redness and roundness—or representation of such objects and qualities. Qualities of perception that are not captured by (...)
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  7. Ned Block (1996). What is Functionalism? In Donald M. Borchert (ed.), [Book Chapter]. MacMillan
    What is Functionalism? Functionalism is one of the major proposals that have been offered as solutions to the mind/body problem. Solutions to the mind/body problem usually try to answer questions such as: What is the ultimate nature of the mental? At the most general level, what makes a mental state mental? Or more specifically, What do thoughts have in common in virtue of which they are thoughts? That is, what makes a thought a thought? What makes a pain a pain? (...)
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  8. Ned Block (1978). Troubles with Functionalism. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
    The functionalist view of the nature of the mind is now widely accepted. Like behaviorism and physicalism, functionalism seeks to answer the question "What are mental states?" I shall be concerned with identity thesis formulations of functionalism. They say, for example, that pain is a functional state, just as identity thesis formulations of physicalism say that pain is a physical state.
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  9. Ned Block (1990). Inverted Earth. Philosophical Perspectives 4:53-79.
  10. Ned Block (2014). Consciousness, Big Science and Conceptual Clarity. In Gary Marcus & Jeremy Freeman (eds.), in The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World’s Leading Neuroscientists. Princeton University Press 161-176.
  11. Ned Block (1998). Conceptual Role Semantics. In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge 242-256.
    According to Conceptual Role Semantics ("CRS"), the meaning of a representation is the role of that representation in the cognitive life of the agent, e.g. in perception, thought and decision-making. It is an extension of the well known "use" theory of meaning, according to which the meaning of a word is its use in communication and more generally, in social interaction. CRS supplements external use by including the role of a symbol inside a computer or a brain. The uses appealed (...)
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  12. Ned Block (2014). Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.
  13.  93
    Ned Block (2007). Consciousness, Function, and Representation: Collected Papers, Volume. Oxford University Press.
    The first of a planned two-volume collection of Ned Block's writings on philosophy of mind; this volume treats consciousness, functionalism, and representation ...
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  14. Ned Block (2003). Do Causal Powers Drain Away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
    In this note, I will discuss one issue concerning the main argument of Mind in a Physical World (Kim, 1998), the Causal Exclusion Argument. The issue is whether it is a consequence of the Causal Exclusion Argument that all macro level causation (that is, causation above the level of fundamental physics) is an illusion, with all of the apparent causal powers of mental and other macro properties draining into the bottom level of physics. I will argue that such a consequence (...)
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  15. Ned Block (2004). Consciousness. In R. L. Gregory (ed.), R. Gregory Oxford Companion to the Mind, Second Edition 2004. Oxford University Press
    There are two broad classes of empirical theories of consciousness, which I will call the biological and the functional. The biological approach is based on empirical correlations between experience and the brain. For example, there is a great deal of evidence that the neural correlate of visual experience is activity in a set of occipetotemporal pathways, with special emphasis on the infero-temporal cortex. The functionalist approach is a successor of behaviorism, the view that mentality can be seen as tendencies to (...)
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  16.  3
    Ned Block (1991). Evidence Against Epiphenomenalism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):670-672.
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  17. Ned Block (1986). Advertisement for a Semantics for Psychology. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):615-78.
  18. Ned Block (2003). Mental Paint. In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. MIT Press 165--200.
    The greatest chasm in the philosophy of mind--maybe even all of philosophy-- divides two perspectives on consciousness. The two perspectives differ on whether there is anything in the phenomenal character of conscious experience that goes beyond the intentional, the cognitive and the functional. A convenient terminological handle on the dispute is whether there are.
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  19. Ned Block (2013). The Grain of Vision and the Grain of Attention. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):170-184.
    Often when there is no attention to an object, there is no conscious perception of it either, leading some to conclude that conscious perception is an attentional phenomenon. There is a well-known perceptual phenomenon—visuo-spatial crowding, in which objects are too closely packed for attention to single out one of them. This article argues that there is a variant of crowding—what I call ‘‘identity-crowding’’—in which one can consciously see a thing despite failure of attention to it. This conclusion, together with new (...)
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  20.  8
    Ned Block (1990). Consciousness and Accessibility. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):596-598.
    This is my first publication of the distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness, though not using quite those terms. It ends with this: "The upshot is this: If Searle is using the access sense of "consciousness," his argument doesn't get to first base. If, as is more likely, he intends the what-it-is-like sense, his argument depends on assumptions about issues that the cognitivist is bound to regard as deeply unsettled empirical questions." Searle replies: "He refers to what he calls (...)
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  21.  46
    Ned Block, Solely Generic Phenomenology. Open MIND 2015.
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  22. Ned Block (2005). Review of Alva Noe, Action in Perception. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 102:259-272.
    This is a charming and engaging book that combines careful attention to the phenomenology of experience with an appreciation of the psychology and neuroscience of perception. In some of its aimsfor example, to show problems with a rigid version of a view of visual perception as an inverse optics process of constructing a static 3-D representation from static 2-D information on the retina--it succeeds admirably. As No points out, vision is a process that depends on interactions between the perceiver and (...)
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  23. Ned Block (2002). The Harder Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Philosophy 99 (8):391-425.
    consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of Djin when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.
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  24. Ned Block (ed.) (1981). Imagery. MIT Press.
     
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  25. Ned Block (2014). Rich Conscious Perception Outside Focal Attention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18.
    Can we consciously see more items at once than can be held in visual working memory? This question has elud- ed resolution because the ultimate evidence is subjects’ reports in which phenomenal consciousness is filtered through working memory. However, a new technique makes use of the fact that unattended ‘ensemble prop- erties’ can be detected ‘for free’ without decreasing working memory capacity.
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  26.  79
    N. Block (2001). Paradox and Cross Purposes in Recent Work on Consciousness. Cognition 79 (1-2):197-219.
    Dehaene and Naccache, Dennett and Jack and Shallice “see convergence coming from many different quarters on a version of the neuronal global workspace model†(Dennett, p. 1). (Boldface references are to papers in this volume.) On the contrary, even within this volume, there are commitments to very different perspectives on consciousness. And these differing perspectives are based on tacit differences in philosophical starting places that should be made explicit.  Indeed, it is not clear that different uses of “consciousness†and (...)
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  27. Ned Block (1981). Psychologism and Behaviorism. Philosophical Review 90 (1):5-43.
    Let psychologism be the doctrine that whether behavior is intelligent behavior depends on the character of the internal information processing that produces it. More specifically, I mean psychologism to involve the doctrine that two systems could have actual and potential behavior _typical_ of familiar intelligent beings, that the two systems could be exactly alike in their actual and potential behavior, and in their behavioral dispositions and capacities and counterfactual behavioral properties (i.e., what behaviors, behavioral dispositions, and behavioral capacities they would (...)
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  28. Ned Block, Owen J. Flanagan & Guven Guzeldere (eds.) (1997). The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. MIT Press.
    " -- "New Scientist" Intended for anyone attempting to find their way through the large and confusingly interwoven philosophical literature on consciousness, ..
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  29. Ned Block & Susanna Siegel (2013). Attention and Perceptual Adaptation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (4):205-206.
  30. Ned Block (2008). Consciousness and Cognitive Access. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):289-317.
    This article concerns the interplay between two issues that involve both philosophy and neuroscience: whether the content of phenomenal consciousness is 'rich' or 'sparse', whether phenomenal consciousness goes beyond cognitive access, and how it would be possible for there to be evidence one way or the other.
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  31. Ned Block (1980). Are Absent Qualia Impossible? Philosophical Review 89 (2):257-74.
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  32. Ned Block & Jerry A. Fodor (1972). What Psychological States Are Not. Philosophical Review 81 (April):159-81.
  33. Ned Block (1996). Mental Paint and Mental Latex. Philosophical Issues 7:19-49.
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  34. N. J. Block & Gerald Dworkin (1974). IQ: Heritability and Inequality, Part. Philosophy and Public Affairs 3 (4):331-409.
  35.  27
    Ned Block, The Puzzle of Perceptual Precision. Open MIND.
    Argues for a failure of correspondence between perceptual representation and what it is like to perceive. If what it is like to perceive is grounded in perceptual representation, then, using considerations of veridical representation, we can show that inattentive peripheral perception is less representationally precise than attentive foveal perception. However, there is empirical evidence to the contrary. The conclusion is that perceptual representation cannot ground what it is like to perceive.
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  36.  25
    Ned Block (ed.) (1981). Readings In Philosophy Of Psychology, V. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and ... V. Influence of imaged pictures and sounds on detection of visual and auditory signals. ...
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  37. Ned Block (2002). Some Concepts of Consciousness. In D. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. 206-219.
    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.
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  38. Ned Block (2009). Comparing the Major Theories of Consciousness. In Michael Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences IV. 1111-1123.
    This article compares the three frameworks for theories of consciousness that are taken most seriously by neuroscientists, the view that consciousness is a biological state of the brain, the global workspace perspective and an account in terms of higher order states. The comparison features the “explanatory gap” (Nagel, 1974; Levine, 1983) the fact that we have no idea why the neural basis of an experience is the neural basis of that experience rather than another experience or no experience at all. (...)
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  39. Ned Block (2015). The Canberra Plan Neglects Ground. In Terence Horgan, Marcelo Sabates & David Sosa (eds.), Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes from the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim,. Cambridge University Press 105-133.
    This paper argues that the “Canberra Plan” picture of physicalistic reduction of mind--a picture shared by both its proponents and opponents, philosophers as diverse as David Armstrong, David Chalmers Frank Jackson, Jaegwon Kim, Joe Levine and David Lewis--neglects ground (Fine, 2001, 2012). To the extent that the point of view endorsed by the Canberra Plan has an account of the physical/functional ground of mind at all, it is in one version trivial and in another version implausible. In its most general (...)
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  40. Ned Block (2003). Philosophical Issues About Consciousness. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group
    There are a number of different matters that come under the heading of ‘consciousness’. One of them is phenomenality, the feeling of say a sensation of red or a pain, that is what it is like to have such a sensation or other experience. Another is reflection on phenomenality. Imagine two infants, both of which have pain, but only one of which has a thought about that pain. Both would have phenomenal states, but only the latter would have a state (...)
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  41. Ned Block (2011). The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness is Defunct. Analysis 71 (3):419 - 431.
    The higher order approach to consciousness attempts to build a theory of consciousness from the insight that a conscious state is one that the subject is conscious of. There is a well-known objection1 to the higher order approach, a version of which is fatal. Proponents of the higher order approach have realized that the objection is significant. They have dealt with it via what David Rosenthal calls a “retreat” (2005b, p. 179) but that retreat fails to solve the problem.
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  42. Ned Block (1997). Anti-Reductionism Slaps Back. Noûs 31 (s11):107-132.
    For nearly thirty years, there has been a consensus (at least in English-speaking countries) that reductionism is a mistake and that there are autonomous special sciences. This consensus has been based on an argument from multiple realizability. But Jaegwon Kim has argued persuasively that the multiple realizability argument is flawed.1 I will sketch the recent history of the debate, arguing that much --but not all--of the anti-reductionist consensus survives Kim's critique. This paper was originally titled "Anti-Reductionism Strikes Back", but in (...)
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  43.  89
    Naotsuga Tsuchiya, Ned Block & Christof Koch (2012). Top-Down Attention and Consciousness: Comment on Cohen, Et.Al. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (11):527.
  44.  94
    Ned Block (2013). Seeing and Windows of Integration. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (4).
  45. Ned Block (2007). Wittgenstein and Qualia. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):73-115.
    (Wittgenstein, 1968) endorsed one kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis and rejected another. This paper argues that the kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis that Wittgenstein endorsed (the "innocuous" inverted spectrum hypothesis) is the thin end of the wedge that precludes a Wittgensteinian critique of the kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis he rejected (the "dangerous" kind). The danger of the dangerous kind is that it provides an argument for qualia, where qualia are (for the purposes of this paper) contents of (...)
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  46. Ned Block (1995). The Mind as the Software of the Brain. In Daniel N. Osherson, Lila Gleitman, Stephen M. Kosslyn, S. Smith & Saadya Sternberg (eds.), An Invitation to Cognitive Science. MIT Press 170--185.
    In this section, we will start with an influential attempt to define `intelligence', and then we will move to a consideration of how human intelligence is to be investigated on the machine model. The last part of the section will discuss the relation between the mental and the biological.
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  47.  7
    Sid Kouider, Vincent de Gardelle, Emmanuel Dupoux & Ned Block (2007). Partial Awareness and the Illusion of Phenomenal Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):510-510.
    The dissociation Block provides between phenomenal and access consciousness (P-consciousness and A-consciousness) captures much of our intuition about conscious experience. However, it raises a major methodological puzzle, and is not uniquely supported by the empirical evidence. We provide an alternative interpretation based on the notion of levels of representation and partial awareness.
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  48.  15
    Ned Block (1992). Begging the Question Against Phenomenal Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (2):205-206.
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  49. Ned Block (1980). Functionalism. In Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology.
    What is Functionalism? Functionalism is one of the major proposals that have been offered as solutions to the mind/body problem. Solutions to the mind/body problem usually try to answer questions such as: What is the ultimate nature of the mental? At the most general level, what makes a mental state mental? Or more specifically, What do thoughts have in common in virtue of which they are thoughts? That is, what makes a thought a thought? What makes a pain a pain? (...)
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  50.  78
    Ned Block (1989). Can the Mind Change the World? In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press 137--170.
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