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Advancing the Overflow Debate

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Introspective subjective reports cannot provide direct evidence that phenomenal experience overflows cognitive access. This problem for the overflow view is underappreciated in several ways: first, it places the onus on the overflow theorist to explain how sub-jective reports can be used to provide evidence for overflow. Second, it implies that there must be a true non-overflow account of subjective reports of overflow, even if there is overflow. Thus, attempting to dis-prove all anti- overflow explanations of subjective reports is futile. Third, it follows that the focus of enquiry should be on unconscious processing and indirect measures of conscious awareness; this is the area where the debate may be advanced. Finally, employment of inadmissible subjective reports continues to undermine work by over-flow theorists like Bronfman et al. (2014) and Block (2014a).

Keywords: attention; consciousness; content of experience; overflow; phenomenal character; rich perceptual experience

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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