Seeing the Forest and the Trees: A Response to the Identity Crowding Debate

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):20-30 (2018)
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Abstract

In cases of identity crowding, a subject consciously sees items in a figure, even though they are presented too closely together for her to shift attention to each item. Block uses such cases to challenge the view that attention is necessary for consciousness. I argue that in identity crowding cases, subjects really do attend to the items. Specifically, they attend to the figure as a global object that contains the individual items as parts. To support this view, I provide evidence that attention can be directed to a global object or a local object. My response helps to defend the view that attention is necessary for conscious perception.

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Author's Profile

Adrienne Prettyman
Bryn Mawr College

Citations of this work

What is diffuse attention?Adrienne Prettyman - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (2):374-393.
Redundancy masking and the identity crowding debate.Henry Taylor & Bilge Sayim - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):257-265.
Visual indeterminacy.Michael Tye - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
Attention as a patchwork concept.Henry Taylor - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (3):1-25.
Seeing and attending wholes and parts: A reply to Prettyman.Bradley Richards - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):226-236.

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References found in this work

The Grain of Vision and the Grain of Attention.Ned Block - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):170-184.
The binding problem.Anne Treisman - 1996 - Current Opinion in Neurobiology 6:171-8.
Seeing and Windows of Integration.Ned Block - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):29-39.
The Defective Armchair: A Reply to Tye.Ned Block - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):159-165.

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