Attention and Mental Primer

Mind and Language 32 (4):463-494 (2017)
Authors
Jacob Beck
York University
Abstract
Drawing on the empirical premise that attention makes objects look more intense, Ned Block has argued for mental paint, a phenomenal residue that cannot be reduced to what is perceived or represented. If sound, Block's argument would undermine direct realism and representationism, two widely held views about the nature of conscious perception. We argue that Block's argument fails because the empirical premise it is based upon is false. Attending to an object alters its salience, but not its perceived intensity. We also argue that salience should be equated with mental primer, a close cousin of mental paint that reintroduces difficulties for direct realism and representationism. The upshot is that direct realism and representationism are still in trouble, but not for the reason that Block thinks.
Keywords attention  salience  mental primer  mental paint  representationalism  direct realism  perception  consciousness  Ned Block  Marisa Carrasco
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12148
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References found in this work BETA

Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science.Ned Block - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.
Attention and Mental Paint1.Ned Block - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.
Attention and Perceptual Content.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):263-270.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 11 (3):506-507.
Mental Paint and Mental Latex.Ned Block - 1996 - Philosophical Issues 7:19-49.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Eye's Mind: Perceptual Process and Epistemic Norms.Jessie Munton - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):317-347.

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