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Reference and Consciousness$
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John Campbell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199243816.001.0001

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(p.61) 4 Sortals
Reference and Consciousness

John Campbell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Many philosophers have said that the reference to an object depends on knowing what sort of thing it is. But there seems to be many cases in which we refer to objects without knowing the sort; conscious attention to an object does not demand knowledge of its sort. There has to be an explanation of how it is that the subject is visually singling out one object rather than any other in the environment at any one time; but this is provided by the use of one rather than another mechanism for cross‐referencing processing streams. This use of various strategies for solving the binding problem is a more low‐level phenomenon than sortal classification.

Keywords:   binding problem, conscious attention, identity, sortals

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