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Perceptual consciousness, access to modality and skill theories. A way to naturalize phenomenology?

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We address the thesis recently proposed by Andy Clark, that skill-mediated access to modality implies phenomenal feel. We agree that a skill theory of perception does indeed offer the possibility of a satisfactory account of the feel of perception, but we claim that this is not only through explanation of access to modality but also because skill actually provides access to perceptual property in general. We illustrate and substantiate our claims by reference to the recently proposed 'sensorimotor contingency' theory of visual awareness. We discuss why this theory offers a distinctively attractive access-based approach to perceptual consciousness because it 'dereifies' experience and permits otherwise problematic aspects of phenomenal perceptual consciousness to be explained. We suggest our approach thus offers the prospect of 'naturalizing phenomenology'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Vakgroep Wijsbegeerte, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B1050 Brussel, Belgium.

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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