On the role of perceptual consciousness in explaining the goals and mechanisms of vision: A convergence on attention?

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Naomi Eilan
University of Warwick
Abstract
The strong sensorimotor account of perception gives self-induced movements two constitutive roles in explaining visual consciousness. The first says that self-induced movements are vehicles of visual awareness, and for this reason consciousness ‘does not happen in the brain only’. The second says that the phenomenal nature of visual experiences is consists in the action-directing content of vision. In response I suggest, first, that the sense in which visual awareness is active should be explained by appeal to the role of attention in visual consciousness, rather than self-induced movements; and second, that the sense in which perceptual consciousness does not happen in the brain only should be explained by appeal to the relational nature of perceptual consciousness, appeal to which also shows why links with action cannot exhaust phenomenal content.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8349.2006.00138.x
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