The Grain of Vision and the Grain of Attention

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):170-184 (2012)
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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 evidence that attention to an object occurs in unconscious perception, suggests there may be a double dissociation between conscious perception of an object and attention to that object, constraining the extent to which consciousness can be constitutively attentional. The argument appeals to a comparison between the minimal resolution (or ‘‘grain’’) of object-attention and object-seeing.

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Ned Block
New York University

Citations of this work

Unconscious Perception Reconsidered.Ian Phillips - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (4):471-514.
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References found in this work

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
Action in Perception. [REVIEW]Alva Noë - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (5):259-272.
Perceptual consciousness overflows cognitive access.Ned Block - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.

View all 20 references / Add more references