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  1. The meta-problem and the transfer of knowledge between theories of consciousness: a software engineer’s take.Marcel Kvassay - manuscript
    This contribution examines two radically different explanations of our phenomenal intuitions, one reductive and one strongly non-reductive, and identifies two germane ideas that could benefit many other theories of consciousness. Firstly, the ability of sophisticated agent architectures with a purely physical implementation to support certain functional forms of qualia or proto-qualia appears to entail the possibility of machine consciousness with qualia, not only for reductive theories but also for the nonreductive ones that regard consciousness as ubiquitous in Nature. Secondly, analysis (...)
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  2. Confidence in Consciousness Research.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science:e1628.
    To study (un)conscious perception and test hypotheses about consciousness, researchers need procedures for determining whether subjects consciously perceive stimuli or not. This article is an introduction to a family of procedures called ‘confidence-based procedures’, which consist in interpreting metacognitive indicators as indicators of consciousness. I assess the validity and accuracy of these procedures, and answer a series of common objections to their use in consciousness research. I conclude that confidence-based procedures are valid for assessing consciousness, and, in most cases, accurate (...)
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  3. The implicit perception of harm following moral violations in autism.Gabriele Osler, Laura Franchin, Giulia Guglielmetti, Stefano Calzolari, Rocco Micciolo & Luca Surian - 2024 - Thinking and Reasoning 30 (2):379-393.
    Previous studies showed that when reading a scenario depicting a harmless moral violation in the domain of purity, people nevertheless implicitly infer that harm was involved. In this study, we assessed whether this “implicit completion” process found in the perception of immoral actions is also present in people with autism spectrum disorder. In two experiments, we found an implicit activation of harm representations in response to all kinds of moral violations in neurotypical adults as well as in adults with autism. (...)
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  4. Blindsight Is Unconscious Perception.Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2023 - In Michal Polák, Tomáš Marvan & Juraj Hvorecký (eds.), Conscious and Unconscious Mentality: Examining Their Nature, Similarities and Differences. Routledge. pp. 31–54.
    The question of whether blindsight is a form of unconscious perception continues to spark fierce debate in philosophy and psychology. One side of the debate holds that while the visual information categorized in blindsight is not access-conscious, it is nonetheless a form of perception, albeit a form of unconscious perception. The opposition, by contrast, holds that blindsight is just a form of degraded conscious perception that makes the categorized information harder to access because it is degraded. In this chapter, we (...)
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  5. Template Tuning and Graded Consciousness.Berit Brogaard & Thomas Alrik Sørensen - 2023 - In Michal Polák, Tomáš Marvan & Juraj Hvorecký (eds.), Conscious and Unconscious Mentality: Examining Their Nature, Similarities and Differences. Routledge. pp. 251–273.
    Whether visual perceptual consciousness is gradable or dichotomous has been the subject of fierce debate in recent years. If perceptual consciousness is gradable, perceivers may have less than full access to—and thus be less than fully phenomenally aware of—perceptual information that is represented in working memory. This raises the question: In virtue of what can a subject be less than fully perceptually conscious? In this chapter, we provide an answer to this question, according to which inexact categorizations of visual input (...)
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  6. (Un)conscious Perspectival Shape and Attention Guidance in Visual Search: A reply to Morales, Bax, and Firestone (2020).Benjamin Henke & Assaf Weksler - 2023 - In Michal Polák, Tomáš Marvan & Juraj Hvorecký (eds.), Conscious and Unconscious Mentality: Examining Their Nature, Similarities and Differences. Routledge.
    When viewing a circular coin rotated in depth, it fills an elliptical region of the distal scene. For some, this appears to generate a two-fold experience, in which one sees the coin as simultaneously circular (in light of its 3D shape) and elliptical (in light of its 2D ‘perspectival shape’ or ‘p-shape’). An energetic philosophical debate asks whether the latter p-shapes are genuinely presented in perceptual experience (as ‘perspectivalists’ argue) or if, instead, this appearance is somehow derived or inferred from (...)
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  7. Unconscious Perception and Unconscious Bias: Parallel Debates about Unconscious Content.Gabbrielle Johnson - 2023 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 87-130.
    The possibilities of unconscious perception and unconscious bias prompt parallel debates about unconscious mental content. This chapter argues that claims within these debates alleging the existence of unconscious content are made fraught by ambiguity and confusion with respect to the two central concepts they involve: consciousness and content. Borrowing conceptual resources from the debate about unconscious perception, the chapter distills the two conceptual puzzles concerning each of these notions and establishes philosophical strategies for their resolution. It then argues that empirical (...)
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  8. The Unconscious Mind Worry: A Mechanistic-Explanatory Strategy.Beate Krickel - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):39-59.
    Recent findings in different areas of psychology and cognitive science have brought the unconscious mind back to center stage. However, the unconscious mind worry remains: What renders unconscious phenomena mental? I suggest a new strategy for answering this question, which rests on the idea that categorizing unconscious phenomena as “mental” should be scientifically useful relative to the explanatory research goals. I argue that this is the case if by categorizing an unconscious phenomenon as “mental” one picks out explanatorily relevant similarities (...)
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  9. The old and new criterion problems.Matthias Michel - 2023 - In Michal Polák, Tomáš Marvan & Juraj Hvorecký (eds.), Conscious and Unconscious Mentality: Examining Their Nature, Similarities and Differences. Routledge. pp. 130-154.
    Negative subjective reports such as “I didn’t see the stimulus” can be interpreted as indicating either that the subject didn’t see the stimulus, or as indicating that, while the subject did see the stimulus, the strength of sensory signals associated with the stimulus fell below a conservative criterion for answering “seen”. Determining which of these two interpretations is correct is the criterion problem. I present two ways in which researchers can solve this problem. But there’s more. What I call the (...)
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  10. How (not) to underestimate unconscious perception.Matthias Michel - 2022 - Mind and Language 38 (2):413-430.
    Studying consciousness requires contrasting conscious and unconscious perception. While many studies have reported unconscious perceptual effects, recent work has questioned whether such effects are genuinely unconscious, or whether they are due to weak conscious perception. Some philosophers and psychologists have reacted by denying that there is such a thing as unconscious perception, or by holding that unconscious perception has been previously overestimated. This article has two parts. In the first part, I argue that the most significant attack on unconscious perception (...)
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  11. Selectionism and Diaphaneity.Paweł Jakub Zięba - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (Suppl 2):S361–S391.
    Brain activity determines which relations between objects in the environment are perceived as differences and similarities in colour, smell, sound, etc. According to selectionism, brain activity does not create those relations; it only selects which of them are perceptually available to the subject on a given occasion. In effect, selectionism entails that perceptual experience is diaphanous, i.e. that sameness and difference in the phenomenal character of experience is exhausted by sameness and difference in the perceived items. It has been argued (...)
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  12. Seeing colours unconsciously.Paweł Jakub Zięba - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-36.
    According to unconscious perception hypothesis (UP), mental states of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur unconsciously. The proponents of UP often support it with empirical evidence for a more specific hypothesis, according to which colours can be seen unconsciously (UPC). However, UPC is a general claim that admits of many interpretations. The main aim of this paper is to determine which of them is the most plausible. To this end, I investigate how adopting various conceptions of (...)
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  13. Default Hypotheses in the Study of Perception: A Reply to Phillips.Jacob Berger & Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (3-4):206-219.
    Some theorists have recently raised doubts about much of the experimental evidence purporting to demonstrate the existence of unconscious perception. In our (2019) in this journal, we argued some of these considerations are not decisive. Phillips (forthcoming a) replies thoughtfully to our paper, concluding that he is unconvinced by our arguments. Phillips maintains that the view that perception is invariably conscious remains, as he puts it, the “default” hypothesis both within the folk understanding and experimental study of perception. There is (...)
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  14. Separating Conscious and Unconscious Perception in Animals.Andrew Crump & Jonathan Birch - 2021 - Learning and Behavior 49 (4).
    In a new study, Ben-Haim et al. use subliminal stimuli to separate conscious and unconscious perception in macaques. A programme of this type, using a range of cognitive tasks, is a promising way to look for conscious perception in more controversial cases.
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  15. Is blindsight possible under signal detection theory? Comment on Phillips (2021).Mathias Michel & Hakwan Lau - 2021 - Psychological Review 128 (3):585-591.
    Phillips argues that blindsight is due to response criterion artefacts under degraded conscious vision. His view provides alternative explanations for some studies, but may not work well when one considers several key findings in conjunction. Empirically, not all criterion effects are decidedly non-perceptual. Awareness is not completely abolished for some stimuli, in some patients. But in other cases, it was clearly impaired relative to the corresponding visual sensitivity. This relative dissociation is what makes blindsight so important and interesting.
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  16. Unconscious Mental Imagery.Bence Nanay - 2021 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 376 (1817):20190689.
    Historically, mental imagery has been defined as an experiential state - as something necessarily conscious. But most behavioural or neuroimaging experiments on mental imagery - including the most famous ones - don’t actually take the conscious experience of the subject into consideration. Further, recent research highlights that there are very few behavioural or neural differences between conscious and unconscious mental imagery. I argue that treating mental imagery as not necessarily conscious (as potentially unconscious) would bring much needed explanatory unification to (...)
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  17. Unconscious perception and central coordinating agency.Joshua Shepherd & Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3869-3893.
    One necessary condition on any adequate account of perception is clarity regarding whether unconscious perception exists. The issue is complicated, and the debate is growing in both philosophy and science. In this paper we consider the case for unconscious perception, offering three primary achievements. First, we offer a discussion of the underspecified notion of central coordinating agency, a notion that is critical for arguments that purportedly perceptual states are not attributable to the individual, and thus not genuinely perceptual. We develop (...)
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  18. Object files and unconscious perception: a reply to Quilty-Dunn.Ian Phillips - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):293-301.
    A wealth of cases – most notably blindsight and priming under inattention or suppression – have convinced philosophers and scientists alike that perception occurs outside awareness. In recent work (Phillips 2016a, 2018; Phillips and Block 2017, Peters et al. 2017), I dispute this consensus, arguing that any putative case of unconscious perception faces a dilemma. The dilemma divides over how absence of awareness is established. If subjective reports are used, we face the problem of the criterion: the concern that such (...)
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  19. Unconscious semantic priming from pictures under backward masking and continuous flash suppression.Timo Stein, Vanessa Utz & Filip van Opstal - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 78:102864.
  20. La costruzione del sé biologico a confronto con quella del Sé junghiano.Ferruccio Vigna - 2020 - L’Ombra 14.
    This paper adopts a jungian standpoint to discuss neurobiological and psychological constructs such as neuronal groups, default network, Ego and Self. By considering several epistemological issues and adopting the emergentist perspective, this work argues that the jungian theory can enter into constructive dialogue with neuroscientific evidence.
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  21. Do semantic priming and retrieval of stimulus-response associations depend on conscious perception?Maayan Avneon & Dominique Lamy - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 69:36-51.
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  22. On Scepticism about Unconscious Perception.J. Berger & M. Mylopoulos - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (11-12):8-32.
    While there seems to be much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, some theorists recently express scepticism about unconscious perception. We explore here two kinds of such scepticism: Megan Peters and Hakwan Lau's experimental work regarding the well-known problem of the criterion -- which seems to show that many purported instances of unconscious perception go unreported but are weakly conscious -- and Ian Phillips' theoretical consideration, which he calls the 'problem of attribution' -- the worry that many (...)
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  23. Strong representationism and unconscious perception: reply to Janet Levin.Ned Block - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. MIT Press.
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  24. Gorillas in the missed (but not the unseen): Reevaluating the evidence for attention being necessary for consciousness.Benjamin Kozuch - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (3):299-316.
    The idea that attention is necessary for consciousness (the “Necessity Thesis”) is frequently advocated by philosophers and psychologists alike. Experiments involving inattentional and change blindness are thought to support the Necessity Thesis, but they do so only if subjects failing to notice the target stimulus are also not conscious of it. This article uses commonsense phenomenological observations supplemented with empirical data to argue that some subjects failing to notice the target stimulus nonetheless experience its color. Since subjects not noticing the (...)
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  25. The Rationality of Perception, by Susanna Siegel: New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. xxv + 221, £45 (hardback). [REVIEW]Bence Nanay - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):202-204.
    This is a review of Susanna Siegel's The Rationality of Perception.
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  26. Unconscious perception and phenomenal coherence.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):461-469.
    It is an orthodoxy in cognitive science that perception can occur unconsciously. Recently, Hakwan Lau, Megan Peters and Ian Phillips have argued that this orthodoxy may be mistaken. They argue that many purported cases of unconscious perception fail to rule out low degrees of conscious awareness while others fail to establish genuine perception. This paper presents a case of unconscious perception that avoids these problems. It also advances a general principle of ‘phenomenal coherence’ that can insulate some forms of evidence (...)
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  27. Naïve realism about unconscious perception.Paweł Jakub Zięba - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):2045-2073.
    Recently, it has been objected that naïve realism is inconsistent with an empirically well-supported claim that mental states of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur unconsciously (SFK). The main aim of this paper is to establish the following conditional claim: if SFK turns out to be true, the naïve realist can and should accommodate it into her theory. Regarding the antecedent of this conditional, I suggest that empirical evidence renders SFK plausible but not obvious. For it (...)
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  28. Unconscious Perception Reconsidered.Ian Phillips - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (4):471-514.
    Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...)
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  29. Unconscious Imagination and the Mental Imagery Debate.Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
    Traditionally, philosophers have appealed to the phenomenological similarity between visual experience and visual imagery to support the hypothesis that there is significant overlap between the perceptual and imaginative domains. The current evidence, however, is inconclusive: while evidence from transcranial brain stimulation seems to support this conclusion, neurophysiological evidence from brain lesion studies (e.g., from patients with brain lesions resulting in a loss of mental imagery but not a corresponding loss of perception and vice versa) indicates that there are functional and (...)
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  30. Conscious and Unconscious Perception.Sid Kouider & Nathan Faivre - 2017 - In Susan Schneider & Max Velmans (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 551–561.
    Contrasting the properties of conscious and unconscious processes is crucial for understanding how consciousness occurs in the brain. In this chapter, we review the theoretical framework and empirical methods used to delineate and contrast conscious vs. unconscious perception. After outlining the main approaches to measure unconscious influences on brain and behavior, we describe some of the psychophysical tools employed to render stimuli unconscious, including the depletion of sensory signals, attentional resources, and vigilance states. We then provide an overview of the (...)
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  31. Review of Human Nature Sandis and Cain eds. (2012).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    Like most writing on human behavior, these articles lack a coherent framework and so I hesitate to recommend this book to anyone, as the experienced ought to have about the same perspective I do, and the naïve will mostly be wasting their time. Since I find most of these essays obviously off the mark or just very dull, I can't generate much enthusiasm for commenting on them, so after providing what I consider a reasonable precis of a framework (see my (...)
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  32. Unconscious Perception and Perceptual Knowledge.Paweł J. Zięba - 2017 - In Limbeck-Lilienau Christoph & Stadler Friedrich (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Contributions of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium August 6-12, 2017 Kirchberg am Wechsel. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 301-303.
    It has been objected recently that naïve realism is inconsistent with an empirically well-supported hypothesis that unconscious perception is possible. Because epistemological disjunctivism is plausible only in conjunction with naïve realism (for a reason I provide), the objection reaches it too. In response, I show that the unconscious perception hypothesis can be changed from a problem into an advantage of epistemological disjunctivism. I do this by suggesting that: (i) naïve realism is consistent with the hypothesis; (ii) the contrast between epistemological (...)
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  33. Lost in dissociation: The main paradigms in unconscious cognition.Luis M. Augusto - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 42:293-310.
    Contemporary studies in unconscious cognition are essentially founded on dissociation, i.e., on how it dissociates with respect to conscious mental processes and representations. This is claimed to be in so many and diverse ways that one is often lost in dissociation. In order to reduce this state of confusion we here carry out two major tasks: based on the central distinction between cognitive processes and representations, we identify and isolate the main dissociation paradigms; we then critically analyze their key tenets (...)
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  34. Relationalism and unconscious perception.Jacob Berger & Bence Nanay - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):426-433.
    Relationalism holds that perceptual experiences are relations between subjects and perceived objects. But much evidence suggests that perceptual states can be unconscious. We argue here that unconscious perception raises difficulties for relationalism. Relationalists would seem to have three options. First, they may deny that there is unconscious perception or question whether we have sufficient evidence to posit it. Second, they may allow for unconscious perception but deny that the relationalist analysis applies to it. Third, they may offer a relationalist explanation (...)
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  35. Temporal Mental Qualities and Selective Attention.Michał Klincewicz - 2016 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 7 (2):11-24.
    This article presents an argument for the view that we can perceive temporal features without awareness. Evidence for this claim comes from recent empirical work on selective visual attention. An interpretation of selective attention as a mechanism that processes high-level perceptual features is offered and defended against one particular objection. In conclusion, time perception likely has an unconscious dimension and temporal mental qualities can be instantiated without ever being conscious.
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  36. Unconscious vision spots the animal but not the dog: Masked priming of natural scenes.Mika Koivisto & Eveliina Rientamo - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 41:10-23.
  37. The power of subliminal and supraliminal eye contact on social decision making: An individual-difference perspective.Yiqi Luo, Shen Zhang, Ran Tao & Haiyan Geng - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 40:131-140.
  38. Debate on unconscious perception.Ian Phillips & Ned Block - 2016 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Perception. New York: Routledge. pp. 165–192.
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  39. Debate on unconscious perception.Ian Phillips & Ned Block - 2016 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Perception. New York: Routledge. pp. 165–192.
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  40. Subliminal or not? Comparing null-hypothesis and Bayesian methods for testing subliminal priming.Anders Sand & Mats E. Nilsson - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 44:29-40.
  41. The Anna Karenina Principle and Skepticism about Unconscious Perception.Ned Block - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):452-459.
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  42. Conscious Vision in Action.Robert Briscoe & John Schwenkler - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1435-1467.
    It is natural to assume that the fine-grained and highly accurate spatial information present in visual experience is often used to guide our bodily actions. Yet this assumption has been challenged by proponents of the Two Visual Systems Hypothesis , according to which visuomotor programming is the responsibility of a “zombie” processing stream whose sources of bottom-up spatial information are entirely non-conscious . In many formulations of TVSH, the role of conscious vision in action is limited to “recognizing objects, selecting (...)
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  43. Exploring the boundary conditions of unconscious numerical priming effects with continuous flash suppression.G. Hesselmann, N. Darcy, P. Sterzer & A. Knops - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 31:60-72.
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  44. Perceiving a story outside of conscious awareness: When we infer narrative attributes from subliminal sequential stimuli.Naoaki Kawakami & Fujio Yoshida - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:53-66.
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  45. Consciousness and Criterion: On Block's Case for Unconscious Seeing.Ian Phillips - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):419-451.
    Block () highlights two experimental studies of neglect patients which, he contends, provide ‘dramatic evidence’ for unconscious seeing. In Block's hands this is the highly non-trivial thesis that seeing of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur outside of phenomenal consciousness. Block's case for it provides an excellent opportunity to consider a large body of research on clinical syndromes widely held to evidence unconscious perception. I begin by considering in detail the two studies of neglect to which (...)
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  46. Unconscious perception.Jesse J. Prinz - 2015 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press UK.
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  47. Advancing the overflow debate.Bradley Richards - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (7-8):124-144.
    Introspective subjective reports cannot provide direct evidence that phenomenal experience overflows cognitive access. This problem for the overflow view is underappreciated in several ways: first, it places the onus on the overflow theorist to explain how sub-jective reports can be used to provide evidence for overflow. Second, it implies that there must be a true non-overflow account of subjective reports of overflow, even if there is overflow. Thus, attempting to dis-prove all anti- overflow explanations of subjective reports is futile. Third, (...)
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  48. Unconscious influences on decision making in blindsight.Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow & Kevin Rice - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (1):22-23.
    Newell & Shanks (N&S) argue that an explanation for blindsight need not appeal to unconscious brain processes, citing research indicating that the condition merely reflects degraded visual experience. We reply that other evidence suggests blindsighters' predictive behavior under forced choice reflects cognitive access to low-level visual information that does not correlate with visual consciousness. Therefore, while we grant that visual consciousness may be required for full visual experience, we argue that it may not be needed for decision making and judgment.
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  49. Dismissing subliminal perception because of its famous problems is classic “baby with the bathwater”.Matthew Finkbeiner & Max Coltheart - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (1):27-27.
  50. Unconscious cues bias first saccades in a free-saccade task.Yu-Feng Huang, Edlyn Gui Fang Tan, Chun Siong Soon & Po-Jang Hsieh - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 29:48-55.
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