Naïve realism about unconscious perception

Synthese 196 (5):2045-2073 (2019)
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Abstract

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 is possible that what is currently advocated as unconscious perception of the stimulus is in fact momentaneous perceptual awareness (or residual perceptual awareness) of the stimulus making the subject prone to judge in some way rather than another, or to act in some way rather than another. As to the apodosis, I show that neither the core of naïve realism nor any of its main motivations is undermined if SFK is assumed. On the contrary, certain incentives for endorsing naïve realism become more tempting on this assumption. Since the main motivations for naïve realism retain force under SFK, intentionalism is neither compulsory nor the best available explanation of unconscious perception.

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Author's Profile

Paweł J. Zięba
Jagiellonian University

Citations of this work

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Contents of Unconscious Color Perception.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (3):665-681.
Seeing Colours Unconsciously.Paweł Jakub Zięba - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-36.

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References found in this work

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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