Blindsight in Hindsight
Author: Tapp, T.D.
Source: Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 6, Number 1, 1997 , pp. 67-74(8)
Publisher: Academic Press
Abstract:Philosophers concerned with issues of mind have been turning to the neurosciences, especially neuropsychology, for empirical guidance. While I endorse this emphasis, I find that one important neuropsychological phenomenon, blindsight appears to have been misused by some prominent philosophers. In this paper, I examine this alleged misuse by spelling out the accounts of blindsight given by Daniel Dennett and Ned Block. I attempt to show that both Dennett and Block have ignored many complications surrounding blindsight including subjects' reports of visual sensations. This neglect has serious ramifications for their respective models of human consciousness which I also try to explicate. Further, by misrepresenting blindsight, these accounts serve to hamper scientific and philosophical understanding of the phenomenon and of consciousness. I conclude by sketching a model of blindsight that acknowledges these neglected details.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45210-0374
Publication date: 1997-01-01