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Unmasking Multiple Drafts

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Any theoretician constructing a serious model of consciousness should carefully assess the details of empirical data generated in the neurosciences and psychology. A failure to account for those details may cast doubt on the adequacy of that model. This paper presents a case in point. Dennett and Kinsbourne's (Dennett, D., & Kinsbourne, M. (1992). Time and the observer: The where and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 15 , 183–243) assault on the materialist version of the Cartesian Theater model of the mind relies significantly on the superiority of their Multiple Drafts model of consciousness as an explanation of the phenomenon of metacontrast. However, their description of metacontrast is, in important ways, inadequate. The result is that their explanation of how the Multiple Drafts model handles this phenomenon fails to account for the actual data. In this paper I offer a more complete description of metacontrast, show how Dennett and Kinsbourne's explanation fails, and argue that there are good theoretical reasons for choosing the so-called Stalinesque model over the so-called Orwellian model.

Keywords: Consciousness; Dennett; Kinsbourne; Multiple Drafts; Orwellian; Stalinesque

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2006

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