This paper explores the distinction between perceiving an object as extended in time, and experiencing a sequence of perceptions. I argue that this distinction cannot be adequately described by any present theory of time-consciousness and that in order to solve the puzzle, we need to consider perceptual content as having three distinct constituents: Explicit content, which has a particular phenomenal character, modal content, or the kind of content that is contributed by the psychological mode, and implicit content, (...) which lacks phenomenal character. These notions are then further clarified and related to each other. (shrink)
Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. As opposed to physicists' idea of measurable time, in human experience life is perceived as a continuous and unmeasurable flow rather than as a succession of marked-off states of consciousness--something that can be measured not quantitatively, but only qualitatively. His conclusion is that free will is an observable fact.
War captivity is an extreme traumatic experience typically involving exposure to repeated stressors, including torture, isolation, and humiliation. Captives are flung from their previous known world into an unfamiliar reality in which their state of consciousness may undergo significant change. In the present study extensive interviews were conducted with fifteen Israeli former prisoners of war who fell captive during the 1973 Yom Kippur war with the goal of examining the architecture of human thought in subjects lacking a sense of (...) body (disembodiment) as a result of confinement and isolation. Analysis of the interviews revealed that threats to a normal sense of body often lead to a loss of the sense of time as an objective dimension. Evidence suggests that the loss of the sense of body and the loss of the sense of time are in fact connected; that is, they collapse together. This breakdown in turn results in a collapse of the sense of self. (shrink)
By examining Dainton's account of the temporality of consciousness in the context of long-running debates about the specious present and timeconsciousness in both the Jamesian and the phenomenological traditions, I raise critical objections to his overlap model. Dainton's interpretations of Broad and Husserl are both insightful and problematic. In addition, there are unresolved problems in Dainton's own analysis of conscious experience. These problems involve ongoing content, lingering content, and a lack of phenomenological clarity concerning the central (...) concept of overlapping experiences. (shrink)
The text surveys the development of the debate between Zahavi and Brough/Sokolowski regarding Husserl’s account of inner time-consciousness. The main arguments on both sides are reconsidered, and a compromise is proposed.
A number of recent attempts to bridge Husserlian phenomenology of timeconsciousness and contemporary tools and results from cognitive science or computational neuroscience are described and critiqued. An alternate proposal is outlined that lacks the weaknesses of existing accounts.
In the introduction to Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, Husserl remarks that “we get entangled in the most peculiar difficulties, contradictions, and confusions” (Hua X, 4) the moment we seek to account for time-consciousness. I think most scholars of Husserl’s writings on these issues would agree. Attempting to unravel the inner workings of time-consciousness can indeed easily induce a kind of intellectual vertigo. Let us consequently start with some of the basic questions that motivated Husserl’s inquiry.
Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics belongs to the phenomenological tradition. What is striking then is that one of the central themes in phenomenology, the nature of timeconsciousness, receives no sustained treatment in Gadamer's writings. It's fair to say that Gadamer is the only major figure in phenomenology not to address the issue of time at length. In this paper I argue that Gadamer does have an account of timeconsciousness and it can be (...) found most fully articulated in his account of the aesthetic experience connected to festivals. Festivals, as models of epochal experiences, are the primordial experiences of time upon which other forms of timeconsciousness (time as used and filled and scientific time) are constituted. Significantly, then, the reproduction of the meaning of tradition plays a role in the heart of Gadamer's theory of time and therefore his theory of experience. (shrink)
1. Introduction: The problems of time and consciousness What is time? St. Augustine remarked that when no one asked him, he knew what time was; however when someone asked him, he did not. Is time a process which flows? Is time a dimension in which processes occur? Does time actually exist? The notion that time is a process which "flows" directionally may be illusory (the "myth of passage") for if time did (...) flow it would do so in some medium or vessel (e.g. minutes per what?) . But if time is a dimension in which processes occurred, e.g. as one component of a 4 dimensional spacetime, then why would processes occur unidirectionally in time? Yet we perceive time as an orderly, unidirectional process. An alternative explanation is that time does not exist as either a process or dimension, but that reality is a collage of discrete, disconnected and haphazardly arranged configurations of the universe, e.g. as described in Julian Barbour's "The end of time" . In this view our perception of a unidirectional flow of time occurs because each moment, or "Now" as Barbour terms them, involves memory of other conceptually relevant moments, and the orderly flow of time is an illusion. Barbour's deconstruction of time contrasts the Newtonian reality of objects moving deterministically through 4 dimensional spacetime. Newton's contemporary (and rival) Leibniz  viewed the world in a manner consistent with Barbour (and with Mach's principle that the spatiotemporal structure of the universe is dependent on the distribution of mass, a foundation of Einstein's general relativity). According to Leibniz the world is to be understood not as matter/mass moving in a framework of space and time, but of more fundamental snapshot-like entities that momentarily fuse space and matter into single possible arrangements or configurations of the entire universe. Such configurations, which can be fabulously rich and complex considering the vastness of the universe, are the ultimate "things" of reality, which Leibniz termed "monads".. (shrink)
If one looks at the current discussion of self-awareness there seems to be a general agreement that whatever valuable philosophical contributions Husserl might have made, his account of self-awareness is not among them. This prevalent appraisal is often based on the claim that Husserl was too occupied with the problem of intentionality to ever really pay attention to the issue of self-awareness. Due to his interest in intentionality Husserl took object-consciousness as the paradigm of every kind of awareness and (...) therefore settled with a model of self-awareness based upon the subject-object dichotomy, with its entailed difference between the intending and the intended. As a consequence, Husserl never discovered the existence of pre-reflective self- awareness, but remained stuck in the traditional, but highly problematic reflection model of self-awareness. (shrink)
This paper examines Husserl’s fascination with the issues raised by Hume’s critique of the philosophy of the ego and the continuity of consciousness. The path taken here follows a continental and phenomenological approach. Husserl’s 1905 lecture course on the temporalization of immanent time-consciousness is a phenomenological-eidetic examination of how the continuity of consciousness and the consciousness of continuity are possible. It was by way of Husserl’s reading of Hume’s discussion of “flux” or “flow” that his (...) discourse on temporal phenomena led to the classification of a point-like now as a “fiction” and opened up a horizonal approach to the present that Hume’s introspective analyses presuppose but that escaped the limitations of the language that was available to him. In order to demonstrate the radicality of Husserl’s temporal investigations and his inspiration in the work of Hume, I show how his phenomenological discourse on the living temporal flow of consciousness resolves the latter’s concern about the problem of continuity by re-thinking how, in the absence of an abiding impression of Self, experience is continuous throughout the flux of its running off impressions. (shrink)
What is consciousness? Conventional approaches see it as an emergent property of complex interactions among individual neurons; however these approaches fail to address enigmatic features of consciousness. Accordingly, some philosophers have contended that "qualia," or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived, exists as a fundamental component of reality. Whitehead, for example, described the universe as being composed of "occasions of experience." To examine this possibility scientifically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined. We (...) must come to terms with the physics of spacetime-as described by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and its relation to the fundamental theory of matter-as described by quantum theory. Roger Penrose has proposed a new physics of objective reduction: "OR," which appeals to a form of quantum gravity to provide a useful description of fundamental processes at the quantum/classical borderline.hz Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific "objective" criterion (a threshold related to quantum gravity) is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces (objective reduction: OR). We contend that this type of objective self-collapse introduces non-computability, an essential feature of consciousness which distinguishes our minds from classical computers. Each OR is taken as an instantaneous event-the climax of a self-organizing process in fundamental spacetime-and a candidate for a conscious Whitehead "occasion of experience." How could an OR process occur in the brain, be coupled to neural activities, and account for other features of consciousness? We nominate a quantum computational OR process with the requisite characteristics to be occurring in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. In this model, quantum-superposed states develop in microtubule subunit proteins ("tubulins") within certain brain neurons, remain coherent, and recruit more superposed tubulins until a mass-time-energy threshold (related to quantum gravity) is reached.. (shrink)
Even a cursory glance in Die Bernauer Manuskripte über das Zeitbewusstsein makes it evident that one of Husserl’s major concerns in his 1917-18 reflections on time-consciousness was how to account for the constitution of time without giving rise to an infinite regress. Not only does Husserl constantly refer to this problem in Husserliana XXXIII – as he characteristically writes at one point “Überall drohen, scheint es, unendliche Regresse”(Hua 33/81) – (...) but he also takes care to distinguish between several different regresses (cf. Hua 33/271). One of the more troubling ones is the one that might be called the regress of foundation. It concerns the problem of how to avoid always having to presuppose yet another underlying constituting consciousness. As we will soon see, the attempt to avoid this specific regress is closely linked to the problem of how to come up with a satisfactory account of self-awareness. That Husserl himself was well aware of this link can be inferred from some of his reflections in the beginning of Husserliana XXXIII. As he writes at one point, consciousness exists, it exists as a stream, and it appears to itself as a stream. But how the stream of consciousness is capable of being conscious of itself, how it is possible and comprehensible that the very being of the stream is a form of self-consciousness, is the enduring problem of the entire treatise (Hua 33/44, 46). In this article, I wish to take a closer look at some of Husserl’s attempts in the Bernau Manuscripts to account for time-consciousness without giving rise to an infinite regress. (shrink)
In what follows, I suggest that, against most theories of time, there really is an actual present, a now, but that such an eternal moment cannot be found before or after time. It may even be semantically incoherent to say that such an eternal present exists since “it” is changeless and formless (presumably a dynamic chaos without location or duration) yet with creative potential. Such a field of near-infinite potential energy could have had no beginning and will have (...) no end, yet within it stirs the desire to experience that brings forth singularities, like the one that exploded into the Big Bang (experiencing itself through relative and relational spacetime). From the perspective of the eternal now of near-infinite possibilities (if such a sentence can be semantically parsed at all), there is only the timeless creative present, so the Big Bang did not happen some 13 billion years ago. Inasmuch as there is neither time past nor time future nor any time at all at the null point of forever, we must understand the Big Bang (and all other events) as taking place right here and now. In terms of the eternal now, the beginning is happening now and we just appeared (and are always just appearing) to witness it. The rest is all conscious construction; time and experience are so entangled, they need each other to exist. (shrink)
Outline by Section: I. INTRODUCTION: METHOD OF PHENOMENOLOGY II. REDUCTION FROM DOGMAS III. EXAMPLES OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF A. SENTENCE B. MELODY C. DIAGRAM OF TIME IV. MODIFICATIONS AS MODES OF TEMPORAL STRUCTURE V. RETENTION VI. CONSTITUTION OF EXTERNAL TIMETime present and time past.
Roger Penrose, in _The Emperor's New Mind_ (1989), writes about the way Mozart perceived music. Mozart did not play a piece in his mind in real time, or even speeded up, but could hold it before him all at once. We all do this, although usually for much shorter riffs than entire symphonies. I have argued that the all-at-onceness of our thoughts and perceptions is at least as inexplicable as what it is like to see red; I think the (...) aural/temporal all-at-onceness makes the point at least as vividly as the visual/spatial all-at-onceness of the curl of smoke in an art nouveau poster. (shrink)
Time plays a central role in consciousness, at different levels and in different aspects of information processing. Subliminal perception experiments demonstrate that stimuli presented too briefly to enter conscious awareness are nevertheless processed to some extent. Implicit learning, implicit memory, and conditioning studies suggest that the extent to which memory traces are available for verbal report and for cognitive control is likewise dependent on the time available for processing during acquisition. Differences in the time available for (...) processing also determine not only the extent to which one becomes conscious of action, but also provides the basis for making attributions of authorship to experienced acts. In this paper, we offer a brief overview of these different findings and suggest that they can all be understood based on the fact that consciousness takes time. From this perspective, the availability of representations to conscious awareness depends on the quality of these representations — the extent to which they are strong, stable in time, and distinctive. High-quality representations occur when processes of global competition have had sufficient time to operate so as to make the system settle into the best possible interpretation of the input. Such processes implement global constraint satisfaction and critically depend on reentrant processing, through which representations can be further enriched by high-level constraints. We discuss these ideas in light of current theories of consciousness, emphasizing the fact that consciousness should be viewed as a process rather than as a static property associated with some states and not with others. (shrink)
High figure-ground contrast usually results in more positive evaluations of visual stimuli. This may either reflect that high figure-ground contrast per se is a desirable attribute or that this attribute facilitates fluent processing. In the latter case, the influence of high figure-ground contrast should be most pronounced under short exposure times, that is, under conditions where the facilitative influence on perceptual fluency is most pronounced. Supporting this hypothesis, ratings of the prettiness of visual stimuli increased with figure-ground contrast under short (...) exposure times (.3, 1, and 3 seconds, respectively). This positive influence of figure-ground contrast was eliminated under an exposure time of 10 seconds. We conclude that stimuli with high figure-ground contrast are more appealing because they are easier to process, not because high figure-ground contrast per se is a desirable attribute. We discuss this finding in the context of William James? notion that the fringe of consciousness includes vague contextual feelings at the periphery of the focus of attention and suggest that perceptual fluency is one of these feelings. (shrink)
Participants were required to switch among randomly ordered tasks, and instructional cues were used to indicate which task to execute. In Experiments 1 and 2, the participants indicated their readiness for the task switch before they received the target stimulus; thus, each trial was associated with two primary dependent measures: (1) readiness time and (2) target reaction time. Slow readiness responses and instructions emphasizing high readiness were paradoxically accompanied by slow target reaction time. Moreover, the effect of (...) task switching on readiness time was an order of magnitude smaller then the (objectively estimated) duration required for task preparation (Experiment 3). The results strongly suggest that participants have little conscious awareness of their preparedness and challenge commonly accepted assumptions concerning the role of consciousness in cognitive control. (shrink)
Undoubtedly, Edmund Husserl's work is one of the most important contributions to the philosophy of the Twentieth Century to the field of culture, specifically influence on the formation of a new psychiatric - psychological paradigm embodied in the phenomenological psychology and psychiatry - existential. Thispaper aims to draw a brief introduction to the issues concerning the constitution originating from the life of the subject as the psychological level of objectivity and intersubjectivity, with emphasis on aspects related to the synthetic processes (...) taking place in the Genesis passive. Highlight how interesting from the notion ofintentionality of consciousness phenomenological analysis husserliano realizes the formation of the conscience of the time, the embodiment of the spatiality and intersubjectivity whose origin lies in the synthetic processes taking place since preyoica instinctive affection in intrauterine life. (shrink)
Abstract: This article considers the conceptual connections between self-consciousness, objectivity, and time. The model of conceptual analysis employed examines the necessary conditions of the meaningfulness of expressions in language. In the course of this analysis two distinct options for the explanation of self-consciousness are identified and examined. According to the first (Strawsonian) view, self-consciousness is based upon the distinction between the self and other subjects of consciousness; according to the second (Kantian) view, self-consciousness is (...) based upon the distinction between the self and the world. The first option is rejected, and a variation of the second option is adopted. According to it, in self-consciousness one is conscious of oneself as a temporally extended point of view (consciousness) over an objective and temporal realm of reality. (shrink)
William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas about (...) the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as ‘E.R. Clay’). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from The Unity of Consciousness and Sensory Integration conference at Brown University in November of 2011. This portion of the report explores the question: Is the mechanism of sensory integration spatio-temporal?
The presentist view of time is psychologically appealing. I argue that, ironically, contingent facts about the temporal properties of consciousness are very difficult to square with presentism unless some form of mind/body dualism is embraced.
Perceptual illusions have often served as an important tool in the study of perceptual experience. In this paper I argue that a recently discovered set of visual illusions sheds new light on the nature of timeconsciousness. I suggest the study of these silencing illusions as a tool kit for any philosopher interested in the experience of time and show how to better understand timeconsciousness by combining detailed empirical investigations with a detailed philosophical analysis. (...) In addition, and more speciﬁcally, I argue against an initially plausible range of views that assume a close match between the temporal content of visual experience and the temporal layout of experience itself. Against such a widely held structural matching thesis I argue that which temporal changes we are experiencing bears no close relation to how our experience itself is changing over time. Explanations of the silencing illusions that are compatible with the structural matching thesis fail. (shrink)
William James' Principles of Psychology , in which he made famous the "specious present" doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl's Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid's essay "Memory" in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man , we trace out a line of development of (...) ideas about the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as 'E.R. Clay'). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
We contrast person-centered categories with objective categories related to physics: consciousness vs. mechanism, observer vs. observed, agency vs. event causation. semantics vs. syntax, beliefs and desires vs. dispositions. How are these two sets of categories related? This talk will discuss just one such dichotomy: consciousness vs. mechanism. Two extreme views are dualism and reductionism. An intermediate view is emergence. Here, consciousness is part of the natural order (as against dualism), but consciousness is not definable only in (...) terms of physical mass, length, and time (as against reductionism). There are several detailed theories of emergence. One is based on the Great Chain of Being and on organic evolutionary hierarchy. The theory here is based instead on the concept of relational holism in quantum mechanics. The resulting brain model has two interacting systems: a computational system and a quantum system (a Bose-Einstein condensate), perhaps interacting via EEG waves. Thus, we need both person-centered and matter-centered categories to describe human beings. Some possible experimental tests are discussed. (shrink)
The critical reinterpretations of Libet's research by G. Gomes make speculative, unwarranted, and untested assumptions. These assumptions and arguments are analyzed and their status relative to Libet's findings is criticized.
Being in Time is a provocative and accessible essay on the fragmentation of the self as explored in philosophy and literature. This original study is unique in its focus on the literary aspects of philosophical writing and their interactions with philosophical content. It explores the emotional aspects of the human experience of time commonly neglected in philosophical investigation by looking at how narrative creates and treats the experience of the self as fragmented and the past as "lost." Genevieve (...) Lloyd demonstrates the continuities and the contrasts between modern philosophic discussions of the instability of the knowing subject, treatments of the fragmentation of the self in the modern novel, and older philosophical discussions of the unity of consciousness. Combining theoretical discussion with human experience, Being in Time will be important reading to anyone interested in the relationship between philosophy and literature, as well as to more general audience of readers who share Augustine's experience of time as making him a "problem to himself.". (shrink)
. . . and I spread it out broader and clearer, and at last it gets almost finished in my head, even when it is a long piece, so that I can see the whole of it at a single glance in my mind, as if it were a beautiful painting of a handsome human being; in which way I do not hear it in my imagination at all as a succession - the way it must come later - but (...) all at once, as it were. (shrink)
Classical cognitive science has been characterized by an association with the computational theory of mind. Although this association has produced highly significant results, it has also limited the scope of scientific psychology. In this paper, we analyse the limits of the specific kind of computational model represented by the Chomskian-Fodorian tradition in the study of mind and language. In our opinion, the adhesion to the principle of formality imposed by this specific computational model has motivated the exclusion of consciousness (...) in the reflection on language and, consequently, has led to the inability to account for some aspects of language functioning at the processing level of discourse. The aim of this article is to restore the role of consciousness in discourse comprehension and production processes. Specifically, we argue that the ability to produce and understand discourses is based on individuals’ capacity for navigation in space and time. We will show that the space–time orientation is guaranteed by the projection of the self, which involves a special kind of consciousness. (shrink)
The issue of time-awareness presents a critical challenge for empiricism: if temporal properties are not directly perceived, how do we become aware of them? A unique empiricist account of time-awareness suggested by Hume's comments on time in the Treatise avoids the problems characteristic of other empiricist accounts. Hume's theory, however, has some counter-intuitive consequences. The failure of empiricists to come up with a defensible theory of time-awareness lends prima facie support to a non-empiricist theory of ideas.
The conclusion of physics, within both a historical and more recent context, that an objectively progressive time and present moment are derivative notions without actual physical foundation in nature, illustrate that these perceived chronological features originate from subjective conscious experience and the neurobiological processes underlying it. Using this conclusion as a stepping stone, it is posited that the phenomena of an in-built subjective conception of a progressive present moment in time and that of conscious awareness are actually one (...) and the same thing, and as such, are also the outcome of the same neurobiological processes. A possible explanation as to how this might be achieved by the brain through employing the neuronal induced nonconscious cognitive manipulation of a small interval of time is proposed. The CIP phenomenon, elucidated within the context of this study is also then discussed. (shrink)
Striking experimental results by Benjamin Libet and colleagues have had an impor- tant impact on much recent discussion of consciousness. Some investigators have sought to replicate or extend Libet’s results (Haggard, 1999; Haggard & Eimer, 1999; Haggard, Newman, & Magno, 1999; Trevena & Miller, 2002), while others have focused on how to interpret those ﬁndings (e.g., Gomes, 1998, 1999, 2002; Pockett, 2002), which many have seen as conﬂicting with our commonsense picture of mental functioning.
We assume that we can act—in at least some cases—by consciously intending to do so. Wegner (2002) appeals to empirical research carried out by Libet et al. (1983) to challenge this assumption. I argue that his conclusion presupposes a particular view of conscious intention. But there is an alternative model available, which has been developed by various writers in the phenomenological tradition, and most recently defended by Moran (2001). If we adopt this alternative account of conscious intention, Wegner’s argument no (...) longer goes through, and we can retain the claim that our conscious intentions can give rise to action. (shrink)
_Behavioral and Brain Sciences_ , 15, 183-247, 1992. Reprinted in _The Philosopher's Annual_ , Grim, Mar and Williams, eds., vol. XV-1992, 1994, pp. 23-68; Noel Sheehy and Tony Chapman, eds., _Cognitive Science_ , Vol. I, Elgar, 1995, pp.210-274.
Damasio remarks, it "informs virtually all research on mind and brain, explicitly or implicitly." Indeed, serial information processing models generally run this risk (Kinsbourne, 1985). The commentaries provide a wealth of confirming instances of the seductive power of this idea. Our sternest critics Block, Farah, Libet, and Treisman) adopt fairly standard Cartesian positions; more interesting are those commentators who take themselves to be mainly in agreement with us, but who express reservations or offer support with arguments that betray a continuing (...) allegiance to one or another tenet of the view we sought to discredit. (shrink)
In this essay I explore some of the basic elements of consciousness from a substance dualist point of view, incorporating some elements of Kant's Transcendental Analytic into an overall account of the constitution of consciousness.
Intentional action involves both a series of neural events in the motor areas of the brain, and also a distinctive conscious experience that ''I'' am the author of the action. This paper investigates some possible ways in which these neural and phenomenal events may be related. Recent models of motor prediction are relevant to the conscious experience of action as well as to its neural control. Such models depend critically on matching the actual consequences of a movement against its internally (...) predicted effects. However, it remains unclear whether our conscious experience of action depends on a precise matching process, or a retrospective inference that ''I'' must have been responsible for a particular event. We report an experiment in which normal subjects judged the perceived time of either intentional actions, involuntary movements, or subsequent effects (auditory tones) of these. We found that the subject's intention to produce the auditory tone produced an intentional binding between the perceived times of the subject's action and the tone. However, if the intention was interrupted by an imposed involuntary movement, followed by the identical tone, no such binding occurred. The phenomenology of intentional action requires an appropriate predictive link between intentions and effects, rather than a retrospective inference that ''I'' caused the effect. (shrink)
Any theoretician constructing a serious model of consciousness should carefully assess the details of empirical data generated in the neurosciences and psychology. A failure to account for those details may cast doubt on the adequacy of that model. This paper presents a case in point. Dennett and Kinsbourne's (Dennett, D., & Kinsbourne, M. (1992). Time and the observer: The where and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 15, 183-243) assault on the materialist version (...) of the Cartesian Theater model of the mind relies significantly on the superiority of their Multiple Drafts model of consciousness as an explanation of the phenomenon of metacontrast. However, their description of metacontrast is, in important ways, inadequate. The result is that their explanation of how the Multiple Drafts model handles this phenomenon fails to account for the actual data. In this paper I offer a more complete description of metacontrast, show how Dennett and Kinsbourne's explanation fails, and argue that there are good theoretical reasons for choosing the so-called Stalinesque model over the so-called Orwellian model. (shrink)